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Pirelli concludes initial investigation into Silverstone tyre failures

NEWS STORY
04/08/2020

Pirelli has concluded its initial analysis on a number of tyres that were run at the British Grand Prix last weekend. This allowed the company to identify the cause of the failures followed by deflations that affected both Mercedes and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz.

According to the Italian manufacturer, the key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres.

The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.

Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest F1 cars in history.

The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres, which led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.

For the second race at Silverstone this weekend, Pirelli confirms that the nominated compounds: C2, C3, and C4 - one step softer than those seen at the last GP - will still be used.

Also the usage prescription will be reviewed, increasing the minimum tyre pressures to reduce the stress on the construction.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by TonyMan, 06/08/2020 7:52

"For comparison, i think i recall Jim Clark doing 5 races in the 60s with the same set of Dunlop tyres. We still had good races then, even if we had to wait almost a week to find out what happened :) "

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 05/08/2020 12:41

"Pirelli shouldn't be blamed for being forced to make tyres which 'degrade' at variable rates. They could easily make tyres which would both last for a whole race, & provide excellent grip. The 'Powers that Be' have determined that this would make for 'boring' races. They're probably right.

Personally I think that trying to ameliorate the dullness of an intrinsically poor spectacle with artifices such as chewing-gum tyres rather misses the point[sic] of the pinnacle of motor sport.
"

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3. Posted by Lapps, 05/08/2020 8:42

"The Teams must shoulder a fair proportion of the blame because of their continuing reluctance to convert to a more modern tyre concept. Putting 1000hp through a 13” rim with a high sidewall is just dumb. In slowmo cornering pictures you clearly see the amount of flexing that goes on in the tires (and flex equals heat). You could see on Lewis’s Car how rigid the suspension was after the puncture and that is the reason the Teams don’t want to change tires, they would have to engineer more flexible suspensions. "

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4. Posted by GrahamG, 04/08/2020 18:13

"Terribly irresponsible of teams to assume they had safe reliable tyres which they could race on. Yet another triumph by Pirelli, how long before their tyres cause a serious accident.
However much they are paying F1 their sheer incompetence must at some point raise questions.
"

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5. Posted by Greg, 04/08/2020 17:16

"Good point Barslug. Pirelli say the tyres last xx laps. If that is pushed to the limit or extended because of 'safety cars' dont blame them. Teams will learn and adjust. If there were no tyre changes what a boring race. Even DRS is still in my opinion a small cheat. I get lap 1 with it and paas yhe car in front. Next lap he gets it and passes me. Jo hum.."

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6. Posted by Barslug, 04/08/2020 17:07

"In years past Pirelli produced tires that were horrible. We all remember the days of multiple tires blowing out without warning after only a few laps on them. I can’t blame this latest round on them however. Those tires took a beating for a long time before giving out. Do we really want tires they can use for an entire race? That would be one boring race. Don’t change the tire construction because teams chose to run them too long! "

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7. Posted by ARL, 04/08/2020 15:34

"While Admin sorts out granny's holiday snaps (I've told her not to) what surprised me about the tyre failures was how little suspension movement there was on the left front corners. In the past front wings would have been wrecked as the car subsided. If you can win with just three wheeels I can see a weight saving opportunity. Maybe the RPs should be renamed Pink Reliants and get sponsorship from Trotter's Independant Traders."

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