Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Rosberg wants action on tyres before Monza

2015 Belgian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015Nico Rosberg urged F1 to take immediate action over the spectacular tyre failures seen during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Rosberg was pitched into a spin at over 300kph on Friday when a tyre failed suddenly on the approach to Blanchimont. Sebastian Vettel suffered another tyre blow-out during today’s race.

“Vettel blowing up his tyre, that’s really not acceptable,” said Rosberg in a video posted on Twitter.

“For either of us, for me on Friday or him today, if it had happened a couple of metres earlier or later we would have had huge shunts, the biggest shunts ever, because this track is just so fast.”

Rosberg warned that F1 must react to the incidents ahead of the next race at the high-speed Monza circuit.

“The next track is Monza, the fastest track of the year, so they have to think of something to try to improve that situation,” he said.

“For example, activating all the rear-view cameras so if the teams are watching that they can see before a tyre explodes or something and give us warning. I don’t know, something like that.”

Pirelli believe Vettel’s failure was caused by wear and a cut from an “external source” was responsible for Rosberg’s tyre blow-out. However Vettel cast doubt on the response to previous tyre problems, saying “it’s the sort of theme that keeps going around, nobody’s mentioning, but it’s unacceptable”.

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Keith Collantine
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12 comments on “Rosberg wants action on tyres before Monza”

  1. In fairness to Pirelli, the teams and the FIA need to do their bit and allow greater tyre testing to be conducted. The current level is plainly not sufficient.

    Remember, until this weekend the principal criticism of Pirelli was that the tyres weren’t degrading sufficiently (which is not to accept that degradation or wear was the cause of the Spa failures; my point is that Pirelli seem to face a near impossible task given the current testing regime).

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      24th August 2015, 10:36

      Not only more tyre testing is needed, but a more representative car of today’s Formula is crucial. I believe all they have at the moment is an old Caterham chassis from 2010 and a GP2 car.

      Really not the stuff of accuracy.

      Unless of course the teams are allowed more testing days, which I doubt will happen.

    2. What Pirelli fails to mention is that every time a car is running on the circuit with their tyres for them is tyre testing.
      I don’t get this “we need more testing for data” thing.
      Every other weekend you get all teams running around with your tyres and you can get lots of data with all the sensors in today cars and after they get them off you take them and measure them etc.
      What better testing than that?

  2. I don’t think two dedicated rear-view cameras on every cars to observed tyre degradation all weekend is doable.
    But Rosberg & Vettel was right this is not acceptable.
    A little addition to Ferrari case, Arrivabene said that to run a one-stop was always the Plan A and taken 2 hours before the start and Pirelli never raise potential risks about it.

    “We have an engineer, all the teams have an engineer from Pirelli – and what do you think that engineer is doing? He is not there to chewing gum.”

  3. I think that it’s acceptable that tyres fail from time to time, whether it be by external impact/incident or if a driver goes beyond the intended life of the tyre, it’s in the nature of the sport. What I do find alarming is the way that the Pirellis seem to explode and put the driver into allsorts of problems which as has been pointed out this weekend at the wrong time could be highly dangerous.
    I can’t seem to find much proof from previous years as FOM do a great job of keeping F1 off YouTube but I can’t recall previous tyre manufacturers’ tyres going ‘boom’ so badly or without notice. At least in previous years there was the dreaded ‘cliff’ of performance but we don’t seem to get that anymore, at least Vettel didn’t get that warning and he’s been as good with the Pirelli tyres as anyone so to see him have that issue today was really surprising.
    I don’t know if/what can be done in the short term and I don’t think dragging Pirelli’s name through the mud again will help the situation either as the tyres aren’t going to get any better, I guess I just hope Michelin win the tender for 2017.

  4. This has all become ridiculous. Rosberg ran the entire Russian Grand Prix minus a lap on a single set of tires, and Pirelli didn’t start screaming about it. Now, when you have Vettel’s tire torn apart in moments they want to establish what is honestly an arbitrary limit on tire usage. There’s a serious difference between tread-related wear (Hamilton China 2007, Raikkonen Germany 2005 for a flat-spot) and the actual carcass coming apart.

    I’m far from a tire scientist, but I’ll bet there’s probably something going on in the carcass:as the tread wears down the carcass weakens or deforms as well, thus contributing to “dropping off the cliff”. Spa probably has enough places with massive peak loads that it basically sent the carcass over the cliff before the tread did. Vettel’s tire went pop on the Kemmel Straight, after Eau Rouge, right? Right after said peak load. It would makes sense.

    1. I didn’t see Vettel’s rear tire until he was coming over the hill, but it looked like his tire was delaminating/failing either just before or right after he went completely off the track (on the curb). Watch the replay, you can see the ‘streaks’ of greasy/smokeyness kind of working their way in and his tire collapsed/blew/delaminated completely in the turn before the long straight. I don’t think it was normal tire wear that took apart his tire, but I think the amount of work he put in to those tires over 27+ laps plus jumping the curbs and the nature of that part of the circuit pretty much did his tire in. You can clearly see the lines in his tire right before it blows though (seconds before).

  5. As I mentioned yesterday, it clearly isn’t right that a tyre should fail so spectacularly without any prior indication (i.e. loss of grip) that it is coming to the end of it’s life.

    However, I think the FIA need to accept some responsibility for this situation too. Pirelli are not afforded any tyre testing, and any testing the conduct themselves is on an unrepresentative old V8 engine car that doesn’t have the same level of torque nor stress the tyres in the same way. With a new tyre construction for 2015, that means Pirelli are limited to the pre-season testing and then feedback and data from the races themselves.

    This comes at a time when the FIA are reducing testing rather than increasing it, and that to me is the completely wrong approach. Not only for the tyres, but also for the hundreds or thousands of new components put on the new cars each year. Reducing testing risks reliability issues becoming safety issues. That’s not fair to spectators and viewers, who want to see cars race rather than crash or retire, and it certainly isn’t fair for the drivers who have to drive cars that are less well tested and could represent more of a risk.

  6. BrightLampShade
    24th August 2015, 16:02

    Call me a cynic, but I get the feeling that Rosberg has a bit of a hidden agenda here. As things stand he has no answer to Hamilton. A change in tyres may change the tide. Would be a total gamble but a gamble is better than nothing.

    1. From what i have seen from Rosberg am wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case but if he thinks that a set of strong Michellin tyres would suddenly work against Hamilton then his in for a big surprise.
      Such tyres would probably be even better for Hamilton. He loves a tyre that he can just push all the way and he was never weak at putting temperature in harder compounds.

  7. w/ respect to Rosberg’s camera idea.

    doing some quick math with the windows calculator, @ 375 km/h the wheel turns about 50 times per second. If you put up a camera which catches 20% of the tire, you would need a camera taking decent pics @ about 500 fps (50 rps * (1/.20) * (2 nyquist) to accurately ‘map’ the surface of the tire. Use some sort of IR+visual and you would have a pretty good wear indicator, and you might be able to ‘train’ a computer to throw a caution or warning if there is a significant tear/delamination occurring, giving the driver a few seconds of time to react. Might have to position the camera so it can catch the sidewalls too. You could use some sort of buffering system to keep a current state as well as some memory for storing anomalies. Sync the timing of the camera to a wheel speed sensor.

  8. This is what happens when the tiny minds ban testing……….

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