Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

Other teams also had cuts on tyres at Spa

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015In the round-up: The tyre problems at Spa-Francorchamps may have been more widespread than was first reported.


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Pirelli found more tyre cuts over Belgian GP weekend (Motorsport)

"Sources have now revealed that Rosberg and Vettel were not the only drivers to face tyre problems at Spa-Francorchamps, with cuts being found in several other tyres over the weekend after practice sessions."

2015 Belgian GP report (Motorsport magazine)

Paddy Lowe: "It was a very complex cut that went through three layers of the tyre but without it initially puncturing. The cut then allowed the carcass to unwrap itself."

Analysis - Formula One counts its lucky stars (Reuters)

Alan Permane: "I'd be very surprised if it was a wear-related failure, because they lose performance as you wear them down."

Vettel right to tackle Pirelli on tyres (BBC)

David Coulthard: "Vettel was not wrong to say what he did. A driver of his stature and experience should say what he feels and we should applaud anyone in the public eye taking a position based on passion and emotion as long as there are hard facts to back it up."

FIA forced to clarify radio ambiguities (Autosport)

"After questions over ambiguities on the list, the FIA found it necessary to issue a new version to the teams ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix."

Lewis Hamilton sure Nico Rosberg won't throw towel in on title tilt (Sky)

"I remember driving with Fernando (Alonso, at McLaren in 2007) and Fernando could never believe why sometimes I was quicker. He was like 'it must be something wrong with the car because I'm the best'. That's what he would say to himself, I know for sure."

Pirelli needs to rebuild trust after Spa blowouts (ESPN)

"Its defensive stance is perhaps understandable after the events of 2013 and the vitriol among the drivers on Sunday, but the next statement from Pirelli needs to be forward looking if it is to rebuild its relationships with the likes of Vettel and Rosberg."

McLaren MP4-30 - slotted tea tray (F1)

"The unprecedented feature of this design is the use of two vertical slots to feed air under the tray."

Red Bull poised for Monza tactical grid penalties (F1i)

"Strategically Monza is the most likely. We don't want to be going into Singapore with old engines or any risks as that is really our next chance to shine."

Guy Ligier obituary (The Guardian)

"An orphan, he worked as a butcher’s assistant while making a reputation as a champion oarsman and as a rugby player, eventually achieving selection for France’s B team."

Drivers call for better protection after Justin Wilson’s injury (IndyStar)

"A dragster’s cover is hinged at the front and latches behind the driver’s head. Its lock can be released from the inside or the outside, and the enclosed compartment can be accessed by a fire hose."


Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015Last year Nico Hulkenberg scored the majority of Force India’s points but Sergio Perez achieved their best finish. Now it looks like the same could happen again this year.

This is the problem for Hulkenberg. No matter how consistently he brings in the points and finishes ahead, it always seems like Perez is in the right place at the right time to grab the headlines, both for himself and the team.

Whether it’s just luck or rare genius he just seems to make it happen. That’s what got him a seat at Mclaren, even though it worked out poorly that was still a very impressive move at the time.
Tom (@Newdecade)

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On this day in F1

Niki Lauda scored his final grand prix victory in the Dutch Grand Prix on this day 30 years ago. During a season in which he suffered appalling unreliability, Lauda’s McLaren held together long enough to fend off team mate Alain Prost for the win.

Prost’s title rival Michele Alboreto finished fourth – but failed to add any more points to his tally over the remaining races.

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  • 37 comments on “Other teams also had cuts on tyres at Spa”

    1. Now been told that immediately after the race Pirelli’s engineer at Ferrari checked the intact 3 tyres & found no sign of excessive wear, Paul Hembrey however remained adamant that it was a wear related failure even after been shown the data from the rest of that set.

      Additionally its been pointed out that any sign of wear would have shown up on the front left first as that is the most stressed tyre round Spa.

      1. Apex Assassin
        26th August 2015, 2:23

        TRUE! And I’m sick of their lack of culpability, lies, and constant PR spin!

        It’s to the point where I’d welcome Michelin back. And I consider the 2005 USGP unforgivable.

      2. “I remember driving with Fernando (Alonso, at McLaren in 2007) and Fernando could never believe why sometimes I was quicker. He was like ‘it must be something wrong with the car because I’m the best’. That’s what he would say to himself, I know for sure.”

        Ummm..POT, KETTLE, BLACK!

        Hamilton sure does have a short memory! We all remember the meltdowns every time Button out qualified or out raced him.

    2. It concerns me that Pirelli are essentially tacitly admitting their tyres aren’t up to standard, whilst simultaneously being evasive to accepting responsibility and lumping it on Ferrari, in spite of the evidence suggesting that nothing was amiss.

    3. Pardon me if my numbers are a bit off……
      Isn’t Audi able to do about 275miles on a set of tires at an endurance race like the 24Hrs and Ferrari were trying to push the Pirelli to 120miles. Drivers of high speed racing cars must have reliable tyres.

      I am in the “something is simply wrong here” camp. Bridgestone has the ability to make an F1 tyre, Pirelli do not. Someone with deep pockets needs to pay for a knowledge transfer to Pirelli, soon. IMHO

      1. Keith Crossley
        25th August 2015, 2:17

        Oh dear… Why do people ignore the directive given to Pirelli? To make a tire that degrades so that (according to FOM) we are “entertained”. Rubbish to FOM.

        My only criticism of Pirelli is that they made a deal with the devil. Now they have to live with that.

        (Btw – I did buy Pirelli winter tires because (1) they support the sport and (2) they have demonstrated their ability. Though, in F1, it has backfired.

        1. Buying Pirelli because they are in F1 is as daft as it gets :P I’ve had Pirellis and they were rubbish ! Michelins are far better (for my car at least) but hell expensive, so I go with Yokohamas or Bridgestones.

          Bridgestone’s Potenza GIII were the best tyres I’ve ever tried.

          1. It depends on the tire, I got Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus last year and extremely happy.
            400+ review says they are best in the class

          2. Buying Pirelli because they are in F1 is as daft as it gets


            I’m French, here it’s Michelin all 4 four tyres. 60 euros per tyre, but solid as a rock. Obviously, I rarely run through Eau Rouge at 300kph, but some roads in Belgium a rally-like.

            1. Please don’t come to Croatian coast using set of Michelin tyres. They are solid as a rock, I agree, the tarmac there is very smooth. When is wet you’re risking your life on Michelins.

          3. @fer-no65, people will buy tyres for all sorts of rational or irrational reasons. To be honest, I’ve heard one engineer for a major tyre manufacturer admit that, if you were to undertake a thorough and careful analysis of the range of tyres available from the major manufacturers, the differences in performance are actually fairly small.

            @motor, well, for a start it depends on which manufacturer is using those tyres – Porsche have found that they can’t run the tyres for as long as Audi can. To a certain extent though, Michelin is trying to develop a different impression of their product – as @jeff1s notes, given that Michelin justifies the premium that they are levying on their tyres by promoting their durability, they want to reinforce that impression in their racing efforts by putting emphasis on the durability of their product.

          4. Pirelli used to make tyres with specific characteristics, very much aimed at people who wanted their car to be fun to drive. So Pirelli’s were very grippy, but quick to wear. Today that’s a niche market and Pirelli’s mainstream products are much more in line with other manufacturers products. The Cinturato mentioned above is a good example.
            The last time I was shopping for tyres, I read quite a few tests etc and the list I made was:
            Excellent: Continental, Dunlop
            Very good: Pirelli, Goodyear
            Good: Bridgestone, Michelin
            I ended up with a set of Dunlop Fastresponse, which were indeed excellent.

          5. I took the Pirellis off my Jag they were rubbish. Got Avons on now and it’s quieter does more to a gallon and handles hell of a lot better.

        2. Apex Assassin
          26th August 2015, 2:27

          Oh dear, perhaps it’s because the WHOLE “We were asked to make terrible tyres that have no grip” story didn’t happen until AFTER Pirelli arrived with terrible tyres with no grip. If you were watching dilligently you would know this and not be completely and totally spun by Pirelli and FOM. Face it, F1 is literally owned by a hedgefund who’s sole goal is to increase revenue.

      2. “Isn’t Audi able to do about 275miles on a set of tires” – YES IT IS! Manufacturer – Michelin! Size of the wheel rim – 18 INCHES! All conclusions down to your mental capacity.

        1. The WEC tyres are also much harder than F1 tyres, something not everyone takes into account.

    4. Just heard Justin Wilson has died according to ABC America RIP

    5. RIP Justin Wilson. Sad News….

      1. Dear God, it is true. :(
        I can’t believe we lost another one in such a short time. This is a definitive reality check for all of us who got a little too forgetful about how easily it all can go very wrong.

    6. The joy has gone out of racing again. Rest in peace Justin Wilson. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

      From his family:

      Allentown, Penn.
      24 August 2015

      With deep sadness, the parents of Justin Wilson, Keith and Lynne, his wife Julia, and his brother Stefan share the news that Justin passed away today after succumbing to injuries suffered during the Verizon IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 23.

      Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.

      The family would like to thank the staff at the Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital, Pocono Raceway, Andretti Autosport, and the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as the entire racing community for the amazing outpouring of support from fans around the world.

      The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Wilson Children’s Fund care of INDYCAR.

      Wilson Children’s Fund


      4551 West 16th Street

      Indianapolis, IN 46222

      1. Not the news we were hoping for. RIP Justin Wilson.

      2. So sad, especially for his children. RIP, Justin.

      3. Oh no. I feel like 1999 again. Rest in peace Justin.

      4. ….., rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family.

    7. Excerpt from Motorsport magazine:

      It was a very complex cut that went through three layers of the tyre but without it initially puncturing. The cut then allowed the carcass to unwrap itself. Pirelli’s post-Rosberg incident investigation of all the tyres used (including other team) on Friday afternoon showed several of them to have cuts in the right rear. Something on the circuit was doing this.

      Good news for Pirelli’s PR. It was all Spa fault.
      The bad news is maximum stint lengths rule now looks more likely the safety measure for Monza.

      1. I would look at the kerbs on the outside of Pouhon, the preceding corner and the exit of the Bus Stop with binoculars. Those are the only places the right rear goes over something that’s not tarmac – in fact, it’s the least stressed tyre over a lap at Spa so it’s a mystery indeed.

        I think, given the numerous close calls with the cuts and the two blow-outs, we can consider ourselves lucky the weekend hasn’t ended with a major F1 injury, God forbid worse, alongside the IndyCar death and injury.

        1. Also, it would be imperative for Spa to find the culprit as if it comes down to them, they can easily lose the race on safety grounds, or be rushed into a full-scale kerb re-installment which may cost them dearly financially.

    8. “a very complex cut…” What garbage.

      1. Those words were from Paddy Lowe, not Paul Hembrey or another Pirelli PR mouth.

        Obviously they’ve explained to him in enough detail for him to believe it. That, coupled with actual onboard footage of the damage to the tyre as it happened probably makes it believable, if unlikely.

    9. RIP Justin Wilson

      Sorry, i am tired of the Pirelli’s fans just reciting the same PR garbage that Bernie came up, “…the tires are designed to degrade (and fail) to a make for a better show.”

      Lets face, it Pirelli cant build a decent tire so Bernie came up with a way to cover their shortcomings,” the tires are designed to degrade”. No the real reason: Michellin wont transfer the technical knowledge to Pirelli so they can build a decent tire. This is why Bernie will not let another tire war happen; Pirelli will be out in a heart beat. Remember Bernie’s number one quote, ” Think before you bribe” or something like that.

      1. The ‘designed to degrade’ mantra comes from the FIA brief handed down to Pirelli. Whilst yes, FOM may have influenced it, the FIA are the group that actually writes and awards the specification on the tyre.

        Pirelli are Bernie’s preferred company for commercial reasons (i.e. the amount they pay for track signage etc) but don’t equate the current F1 tyre situation with the companies ability to make quality product.

        If Jean Todt wasn’t such a wet blanket, it would be amusing to see a push back to change the requirements to give Michelin a fighting chance of winning the contract, but alas, they don’t really want to make what’s currently wanted…

      2. I love the “Michilin can build a decent race tyre” arguement.

        1. Now I’ve read on Wikipedia that it happened I’m starting to wonder if it actually did…

    10. Hoping (and pretty sure they will) the F1 teams show the same respect for Justin Wilson as the Indycar teams did for Bianchi.

    11. I really sympathise with Pirellis position. They’re given the mandate of a degrading tyre and very little testing to get it right. Teams complain if they can’t push on the tyre, teams complain if the tyre lasts too long. Teams basically complain if it doesn’t ideally suit their car because despite the fact another team may be managing it just fine it’s obviously never the fault of their own design or setup.

      I think the free choice of compound will help a lot as teams will find which one their car works best with and hone it which will alleviate some of the criticism thrown at Pirelli.

      What I don’t sympathise with those was Paul Hembery’s response straight after the race. All he had to say was he didn’t have the data to answer what the problem was. No one is convinced it’s a wear related issue . And just like in Silverstone 2013 the riding the curbs cutting the tyre isn’t acceptable. Racing cars have been doing that for decades, tyres need to be up to the job. If that can’t be achieved with a degrading tyre then Pirelli would have everyone’s support by coming out and saying they can’t provide that on safety grounds and at certain circuits they will just have to provide a robust tyre unless more testing is made available to them.

      1. @philipgb too much tyre testing and the teams just work out how to handle them anyway. Remember, that’s the real reason for the 2013 tyre testing row – it’s not that it happened, it’s that Mercedes were given the chance to understand the tyres better than their rivals.

        1. There’s always a ‘the problem is’ though. The important thing is that the ‘the problem is’ isn’t the tyre might blow out at 200mph.

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