Hamilton and Button demand changes to tyres

2013 British Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button called for changes to F1 tyres following a spate of failures during the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton was leading the race when his left-rear tyre exploded. “The safety is the biggest issue,” he said. “It’s just unacceptable really.”

Hamilton was involved in a test with Pirelli ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix to try to solve the problems with delaminations which had happened earlier in the season:

“I think we had that tyre test to develop and improve the tyre and stop that from happening. And after the tyre test they didn’t do anything about it.

“And to have four blowouts… it could have happened at high speed, someone could have crashed and I was thinking in the race behind the Safety Car it’s only until someone gets hurt that someone’s going to do something about it.

“But obviously I’m massively disappointed, and it is down to the tyres.”

Hamilton added: “I think it’s a waste of time talking to anyone at the moment, if I’m honest. They can see what happened today, if they don’t react on it then this is everything.”

Button said the problem with the tyres “needs to be sorted out.”

“Happening in a slow speed corner, fair enough that’s pretty bad. But happening at 300kph which is what Checo’s went at, it’s not right and it’s not just for the driver in the car, dangerous, it’s dangerous for all the cars behind.

“First of all he could lose control at that speed but also the cars behind are getting hit with a massive piece of belt of rubber, which has got metal in it. So it’s got to change.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “Hamilton and Button demand changes to tyres”

  1. Good these guys say something and not just shutting up about it! Cheers!

    1. Hamilton and Massa even Perez had damaged the floor. This can also cause huge accidents even LIKE MASSA’S 2009 HUNGARY, also Kimi’s “petrol in the eyes” from Brazil 2009. I am sure if you sit there, you don’t want to be behind a car at 200mph and then rubber comes out in front you. Alonso escaped a near collision with Perez at the start of Hangar Straight… Kimi also escaped from Vergne’s delamination… NOW I REALLY SAY, MAKE THESE TYRES BETTER!!! Don’t wait for Alonso or Raikkonen’s tyre to delaminate because that will cost them championship points to Vettel. ACT NOW BEFORE SOME DRIVER GETS INJURED OR EVEN WORSE, LIKE MASSA IN 2009.

      1. “Don’t wait for Alonso or Raikkonen’s tyre to delaminate because that will cost them championship points to Vettel. ”

        And your response would have been the same had Vettel’s tire delaminated, yes? Obviously not, or you would have said don’t wait for it to happen to a championship contender ~ except that could have been Hamilton had he not had the problem today.

        Hm. And Vettel’s tire was actually on the cusp of a blowout yet we didn’t actually hear any radio chatter with Alonso’s or Kimi’s team, eh? Come on.

    2. Indeed. I have said consistently that this was a major safety issue, Pirelli’s ludicrous claims to the contrary or not. The drivers frankly need to get together and agree to boycott any races where they are given the year’s tire construction. Their lives could be on the line.

  2. Truly dangerous situation. Probably what we would’ve seen at Indianapolis with Michelin if the cars had decided to run at that infamous race.
    A great race at the end, but a great race for the wrong reasons.

  3. Given that we haven’t seen any blowouts all year, I would assume this is a Silverstone problem rather than a Pirelli problem. If we see blowouts in the Nurburgring, then we can say it’s a Pirelli problem. I’m sure this is just a one-off.

    1. @jackysteeg There were some blow-outs before, therefore not track specific.

    2. Are you serious?

    3. So you haven’t watched the rest of the season then?

      1. Refresh my memory. I apologise if I forget but I don’t recall any other blowouts this year.

        Delaminations, sure. But the fact that they’ve all been much larger than anything else this year and all on the left-rear implies this is a new issue for Pirelli.

        1. Ah, I apologies. I assumed that by blow-outs you meant tyre issues (delaminations included) in general. I think the problem was still a tyre issue, but definitely a new one, probably impact on side wall causing the explosion, rather than just deflating through ‘melting’ in the heat.

        2. i kind of agree with you. However Pirelli needs to have a serious look at this weekend. I would not point my fingers to Pirelli yet.

        3. @jackysteeg Well there is Bahrain, Spain and now Silverstone

        4. The tyre fails . Previously it was delamination instead of a regular puncture ( so said by pirelli ).Then , they changed the binding to make it not delaminate . Now, on the tracks where we have degradation , we have punctures ( blowouts ) . I think if you look back ,all of the delaminations or punctures were always left rear . I don’t know what will happen in US GP if it goes this way

    4. Tyres have been mysteriously delaminating on about 5 occasions this year (maybe more). That in itself was too much, but some said it was random. Today, we saw 4 failing in 2 hours, so it is not random anymore and Pirelli is at fault here.

    5. What year have you been watching?

    6. I think it was more likely a combination of issues rather than one or the other.
      Silverstone kerbs (or drains, we’ll see in time), Pirelli’s tyre construction (obvious when we’ve seen other issues they’ve had this year) as well as teams running lower tyre pressures at a track that naturally eats tyres.

    7. Just to clarify – by “blowouts” I am of course referring to the tyre explosions as opposed to the common tyre delamination.

    8. +1 Gary Anderson just showed where the problem is.

      1. and…?

        1. They were cutting tyre over the jagged kerbs.

          1. The circuit hasnt changed in year, and the drivers lines havnt changed, we werent getting these cuts last year or 2011, and at Bahrain also. So its something in the way the tyre is constructed specifically this year.

            Yes the curb might be doin the cutting, but the tyres shouldnt be this marginal, it was never a problem in the past to use the kerbs.

            Stop blaming the circuits, its this years Pirelli tyre thats the problem and it needs fixing.

          2. Hmm Maybe the drivers should adapt and avoid the kerbs?

          3. Hmm Maybe the drivers should adapt and avoid the kerbs?

            What a ridiculous thing to say. Sure, you’ve been driving over kerbs for the last 63 years of the world championship but now let the drivers adapt to the problem, not the tyre manufacturer. I’m speechless.

          4. What you say is rubbish! In the past nobody has driven over the kerbs or at least a minimum amount. It just started to become accepted in the las decade or so.
            As a matter of fact kerbs are not a part of the race track. The race track is defined by the white lines and the kerbs are outside of the lines. So basically they’re leaving the track, which they really shouldn’t. If the kerbs were higher (as they were in the 80’s) or there would be no kerbs at all, BELIEVE me that NOBODY would drive on that part of the race track!
            So in my view it’s mostly drivers fault! Sure Pirelli have some part in it but the drivers should know what damages their car!
            Stay speechless, please!

          5. Let’s review all circuits and modify the kerbs where necessary instead of fixing the explosive tire problem.

          6. @ Woolfy
            No. Drivers should stay of the kerbs. And the problem is solved.
            Can’t you hear what I am saying? It’s not the part they should use extensively. You don’t drive in to the wall in Monaco expecting to stay in one piece..

          7. Where is the evidence that the kerbs caused the blow-outs? Can be the massive stresses from the high speed corners. Let’s wait and see.

          8. Fair enough. But cuts most likely come from that.

          9. To further prove my point watch this, count how many times these two drive over the kerbs and ask yourselves why is it not even close to what the drivers are doing today.


    9. Based on what evidence will this be a one-off issue as you suggest? Tires shouldn’t be exploding at high speeds in motor racing for any reason! Pirelli will give us their verdict in a few days and I hope we get the collective support of the teams and FIA on this safety issue.

  4. If running higher tyre pressures is the solution, change the thresholds, problem solved.

  5. Durex/Trojan provide more reliable rubber than this. What a shame.

    1. Durex have had their share of blow outs! Loll

  6. We should probably wait for the cause of the failures to become clear before starting with knee-jerk reactions.

    1. @red-andy Will Pirelli say anything other than “debris” though? We know the cause of the failures, we know a solution, we know that it happened on many different tracks, with different cars, in different temperatures. What we don’t know is wether the teams can stop head-butting each other and start thinking a little about what’s best for the sport.

    2. No, I think that 4 failures of this type in one weekend demand change.

      Regardless of the cause of these tire explosions there is a large safety issue – do we need a driver to get killed or seriously injured before action is taken?

      The FIA also needs to investigate this, aren’t they the ones responsible for the rules and ultimately the safety of the sport?

    3. Indeed @red-andy. I think its good that Pirelli mentioned that they had to look at what exactly happened today, this was something quite different from what we saw before. And a magnitude more serious as well.

      I am sure that now safety will be the first concern and not team votes will be held on whether they like or don’t like any changes that are to be made.

  7. Totally irresponsible to let the race continue after the first three.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      30th June 2013, 18:32

      +1m but probably they thought lewss weigh in the final laps would fix or hide the problem, but then Checo had the problem with low fuel, so yes, they should have stopped the race.

  8. Actually, I think all of this tyre drama in today’s race was a good thing. We have been seeing several of these strange and sudden punctures this year (Perez in FP3, Massa in Bahrain and others I can’t remember) which Pirelli blamed debris and didn’t take responisibility, but we all knew they were lying. Now they must take action.

  9. Vettel brought up the safety issue of using these tyres several races back.

    Shame on the sport for not taking the word of a triple world champion.

    1. +1
      It’s really arrogant of Pirelli to have not sorted this out.

      Who’s smart idea was it to mess around with something as dangerous as the tyres, anyway?

      1. It’s difficult for Pirelli to sort this out without means of thorough testing of tyres on current cars though. With the recent attempted of a test with Merc, look what happened there, they got taken to a tribunal. What can they do?!

        It’s really up to the FIA to grant more testing for pure tyre R&D rather than team R&D.

    2. Pirelli were too afraid to change because then the other teams would complain about Pirelli changing tires to suit Red Bull.

      It’s funny how the teams that had blowouts today were not the Red Bull ~

  10. “And to have four blowouts… it could have happened at high speed, someone could have crashed and I was thinking in the race behind the Safety Car it’s only until someone gets hurt that someone’s going to do something about it.

    A lot of fans got hurt.

  11. I rather think that the construction of the tyres has already been changed.As mentioned on Sky F1 the steel belt on the tyres is gone.Don’t see how this is legal,i thought the construction couldn’t bee changed without the teams agreeing.I’m no expert on tyres but i can’t see how you can change underlying construction of the tyre without affecting the compound performance.Shady dealings from Pirelli,have to say.

  12. If the tyres were been damaged by the kurbs, Surely we would have seen some signs of it through the weekend with some cuts on the tyres through F1 practice & also in the support categories.

    If it was debris I still see that as a worry as the amount of ‘debris’ failures we have seen this year suggest’s that the 2013 tyres are more prone to suffering damage than other tyres.

    Whatever the cause we have seen so many issues this year I think its clear changes need to be made regardless of certain teams not wanting anything to be changed.

    1. +1. These teams are to blame also. Pirelli was left only to specify more conservative compounds for races to off-set the durability issues and some teams were complaining still. Can’t have it your way always!

  13. Lewis is right …..

    I was watching the onboard shots of Alonso and Raikkonen when the tires in front of them exploded. That was really dangerous.
    Did’nt get to see the onboard shots from vettel when Lewis’s tire blew up. I am sure that was not a pleasant one too.

    1. Alonso almost had tyre lunch !

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        30th June 2013, 18:36

        And @hamilfan , ot’s not fair the FIA is waiting till a disaster happens, I mean, if they are going to react only “if a championship contender gets affected” (as Grosjean wa banned last year) they had today more than what they should consider “necessary” to start an action plan. What a disaster would have been if Kimi or Fernando ended up in the hospital because of the tyres (the onboard cam showed a similar image to the Massa in Hungary accident)

  14. I wouldn’t blame Pirelli here. It id the FIA and the team principals who are responsible for this.

    They dragged the issue . went into unwanted distraction of the tyregate and the eventually missed solving the actual problem

  15. Someone quoted on facebook

    “thank god pirelli doesn’t make condoms”

    1. cant stop laughing!

    2. LOL… #^&%#@…. Pirelli would go ” Now that’s a new problemmmm…… “

    3. :D

      Especially if this continued after customers have already complained about ‘unplanned children’…..

  16. “the cars behind are getting hit with a massive piece of belt of rubber, which has got metal in it” wwo how much force does it need to shred steel belting inside rubber so dramatically. Er, maybe they should be looking at the belting too, isn’t that what is supposed to hold it all together.

  17. Pirelli had said a couple of months back about using the Kevlar belt instead of the steel belt to solve the tyre durability problem.

    Have they implemented it yet; if not can its implementation resolve the issues with the current tyres or will it lead to some new tyre problems

  18. I think the only viable solution now is to have a vote amongst the teams and go to last years tires, everyone knows those tires and has extensive testing. The tires have to stop being the central part of a weekend storys.

    go to last years tires and be done with it. lets get back to racing!

  19. i don’t remember so much fuss when Mansell’s rear exploded in Adelaide in 1986… but F1 was about racing then and drivers did with what they had. Today’s race was great and about clever driving. that does it for me. and what Perez did in Monaco was way more dangerous to other drivers than his tyre exploding today.

    1. But Mansell’s explosion was just one. One failure is not nearly as bad as FOUR in the SAME race.

      1. No. The rear also exploded on Rosberg’s McLaren and Williams was clever enough to stop Piquet before the same could happen. And doing so they lost the title. Geez, I remember it as it were yesterday…

    2. @jihelle

      what Perez did in Monaco was way more dangerous to other drivers

      No it wasn’t. We’re talking about drivers having rear tyre explosions with little to no warning at maximum speed. Look how close Alonso, Grosjean, and Raikkonen came to getting hit in the face with large, heavy pieces of rubber and steel at up to 300kph.

      Perez didn’t do anything wrong in Monaco. He tried to pass Raikkonen down the inside, Raikkonen didn’t want to give him any room, they tangled, it was a racing incident. It bears no comparison to what we saw at Silverstone.

  20. Its like trying to play F1 2010 before they patched it.

  21. Didn’t RBR go on and on about this and got branded as whingers?
    ….so they were right to complain after all.

    1. Yup. The hypocrisy of the racing fans on here is pretty staggering. Today they’re calling out Pirelli and the team principals for vetoing the necessary changes because some of their favourite drivers have been affected. They’re criticizing F1 for waiting for a disaster before making changes. But two or three races ago when Vettel called it a safety issue they all shouted “Maybe you should just deal with it, you cry baby!”

      Never underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance.

  22. Can someone say “Bridgestone”.

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