Pirelli has reacted to complaints about the increase in tyre ‘marbles’ seen at races this year.
Drivers including Sebastian Vettel and Paul di Resta have complained about the deposits of rubber left off-line and suggested they might be a danger to drivers and spectators.
Vettel told The Times last week: “The rubber marbles are a real threat.
“A car in front of you will shoot them like bullets. One of them hit me during practice on my visor. Not funny. Just imagine what it will be like in Singapore – or Monaco, where people sit very close to the track. They could be finding rubber pieces in their tea cups.”
A statement from the tyre supplier said: “This phenomenon is not new in Formula One, but it is most pronounced at circuits where there is a high degree of tyre wear, like Malaysia.
“Pirelli is looking at ways to reduce these deposits in future, but rubber on the circuit is an inevitable by-product of degradation and the marbles left on the circuit pose no danger to competitors or spectators.”
Motorsport director Paul Hembery added: “The rubber marbles on the track are a natural consequence of the increased degradation that has led to more exciting races: all that rubber has to go somewhere, just as it has always done in the past.
“Having said that, we’re here to serve the teams’ best interests and we’re looking at ways of reducing some of the deposits in the future.
“But that’s not going to change our fundamental philosophy: we want to give racing back to the racers.”
Pirelli said each tyre weighing 8.5kg typically loses 1.5kg in weight during a race stint.
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