Don’t try to silence drivers on tyre safety


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IndyCar drivers can’t get away with being critical of their championship. Two months ago the series introduced a controversial and widely derided rule banning them from making statements that “denigrate… the IndyCar brand”.

Crass regulation like this is seldom necessary in F1, whose media-trained drivers seldom stray from the PR platitudes of thanking ‘the guys in the factory’ and reciting a checklist of sponsors.

But recent events gave insight into what happens if they do veer from the script. Remarks chiefly made by Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg about the high-speed tyre blow-outs they experienced at Spa-Francorchamps prompted an unprecedented PR response from Formula One Management, who publicly heaped praise on tyre supplier Pirelli while hushing up the drivers behind closed doors.

We can only imagine how that conversation went. Did any of the drivers, having been told by Bernie Ecclestone not to risk F1’s reputation by complaining about their tyres, dare to question why it was OK for him to do the same thing with his incessant criticism of F1’s engines?

Ecclestone has not kept his complaints about F1’s V6 hybrid turbo power units to himself because he knows that by making his case in public he may win the argument and shape the future of the sport.

F1 drivers, not unreasonably, would prefer to have tyres that do not blow apart at over 300kph with no warning and no prior drop-off in performance. Ecclestone’s safety is not put at risk by a muffled engine note; the same is not true for the drivers and their exploding tyres.

This isn’t a problem which has come out of the blue – and dry-weather tyres have not been the only cause for concern. “The [full] wet only has a very, very narrow window where it works,” said Vettel after Jules Bianchi’s crash at Suzuka last year, which occurred while he was on worn intermediate tyres. “With a lot of water on the track, water drainage on the [full wet] tyres is not as good as it probably should be.”

In 2013 several drivers had similar tyres failures to those seen at Spa, most of which happened at Silverstone, leading Pirelli to change its tyre construction. Vettel alluded to this when he furiously criticised Pirelli’s tyres following his penultimate-lap failure at Spa.

Despite Vettel’s obvious agitation during his now-infamous interview with the BBC* at Spa, he at least did Pirelli the favour of not mentioning them by name. “It’s the sort of theme that keeps going around,” he said, “nobody’s mentioning, but it’s unacceptable.” Clearly Ecclestone would prefer the drivers to go on not mentioning the problem, at least in public.

This is standard form whenever anything goes wrong with Pirelli’s tyres. In 2013 Rosberg had a tyre blow-out at 320kph during testing in Bahrain, which he described in a tweet which was later deleted.

Vettel’s anger drew much of the media attention after Spa but Rosberg, who had suffered a similar failure during practice, was quick to side with him. “Vettel blowing up his tyre, that’s really not acceptable,” he said, adding that either failure could have led to “the biggest shunts ever”. Even Romain Grosjean, who inherited the podium position Vettel lost at Spa, agreed that such failures should not happen.

The root cause of the failures remains a point of debate, Pirelli has blamed a combination of tyre wear and “debris”. Others have suggested the damage was caused by drivers straying beyond Spa’s poorly-enforced track limits. But whatever the cause, sparing Pirelli’s blushes has to be a secondary consideration to the priority of ensuring driver safety.

*This link will expire due to FOM broadcasting restrictions


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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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48 comments on “Don’t try to silence drivers on tyre safety”

  1. Introduce some real testing then. You can’t expect good full wet tyres when they’ve never done 1 km of proper track test…and ban that stupid parc fermée rule that doesn’t allow teams to switch the car to proper rain setups if the weather cheanges from saturday to sunday, the most idiotic thing they’ve done so far to destroy F1.

  2. Have they considered how they are going to enforce the silence? Drivers like Vettel and Rosberg couldn’t just be dispatched – it’d do far more damage to the sport than any comment they could make.

    1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
      11th September 2015, 13:47

      @vettel1 yeah, but they could be fined, or the team, for not taming them as it should be. Even more. There might be a legal contract with a close about “false accusations” or defamation, ending up in a trial. So it’s better to bow down to avoid hard repercussions for the team. Imagine if Grosjean’s support to Vettel ends up in Lotus having to pay millions to Bernie. Surely this would be putting his seat on jeopardy.

      1. “for not taming them as it should be” – that’s horrific.

        1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
          11th September 2015, 14:01

          My intention is to make it look as horrific as it is. And just in case, I’m against silencing anybody who is right to complain.

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            11th September 2015, 15:18

            I can’t imagine any court enforcing a fine resulting from breach of this rediculous gagging order, because as Keith rightly says, health and safety is the top priority, and preventing anyone speaking out about that in any workplace is never looked upon kindly.

            Where are the GPDA in all this? Why arent they doing what they’re there for, and helping the drivers all take a stand?

            Bernie can gag all he wants, he can’t make 20 people press the accelerator on a Sunday afternoon; and thats where the buck stops really.

          2. @fullcoursecaution While you’re absolutely right, a fine wouldn’t stand up legally, lest we forget that Ecclestone is the head of FOM and as a result is in a position to make life very difficult for teams. There doesn’t seem to be any fixed point, for instance, when teams actually receive their ‘Bernie money’ and it’s no secret that he’s deliberately withheld and delayed payment in the past. Likewise, he ultimately seems to have the say in political matters, so a team like Mercedes which currently enjoys arguably the biggest political clout in the paddock, could easily see their position significantly eroded thanks to unruly drivers who refuse to fall in line. Even worse would be for Lotus, who currently want to increase their political standing through the Renault buyout – a deal which is surely being heavily brokered by the little white-haired man.

            When you rely so heavily on one man for so many things upon which you dearly depend, you are clearly going to make yourself extremely unpopular by doing things to displease him.

          3. @mazdachris

            Even worse would be for Lotus, who currently want to increase their political standing through the Renault buyout – a deal which is surely being heavily brokered by the little white-haired man.

            That made me think of this.

  3. And if they, are they going to sack the drivers. I don’t think so. Stuff Pirelli and Bernie, what ever happened to freedom of speech!

    1. It disappeared the day they invented money.

  4. I very much agree in principle, but in practice such gag orders are common in racing series, as Keith points out. Functionally, the teams are commercial partners of FOM, so to speak, as is Pirelli. In many business dealings commercial counterparts sign onto non-disparagement clauses in contracts in various forms. Of course, those are done in the course of the deal and effectively paid for upfront. Demanding one after the fact is hardball. Especially when one side is not acting accordingly. But F1 is all about hardball.

    Safety is a concern that maybe should not be subject to a prior constraint. But there should be avenues for drivers to exhaust, such as the gpda, before going public on these matters. that would make their statements stronger too.

    1. @dmw
      Which other series apart from Indy have them ?
      I’ve heard some pretty harsh comments from drivers and motorcycle racers from various categories criticising tyres, circuits, and third party suppliers over the years.
      I know most series discourage public criticism by drivers and teams, but I didn’t realise other series had rules preventing such criticism.

      1. @beneboy Nascar have been doing it for years.

  5. I think Pirelli have an issue with their tyres cutting or ripping when put under vertical and horizontal loading simultaneously. The drivers have known for some years not to load them in both directions for fear of destroying them I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’ve had issues at the few tracks that force that sort of pressure on the tyres.
    Pirelli didn’t actually blame debris on the cuts, they said the number of cuts indicates that there was a lot of debris, assuming that all cuts or tears are made by track debris. I find it odd that they’d then ask teams to increase the tyre pressures to guard against cuts when any amateur cyclist will know that higher pressure tyres are more likely to puncture and blow out when going over sharp objects. I think it’s more like they understand there’s an issue with the amount the tyres are flexing when going through full load and that they’re somehow tearing, the easiest way to remedy that is to increase the tyre pressures.
    Pirelli could never admit to tyres being at fault as if they had people would question why they were allowed to race on tyres that had shown that they were tearing at an alarming rate with the risk that a fraction of those tyres with tears would then fail in a dangerous manner.

    I do wonder what Bernie said to those drivers in Monza as the only thing I can imagine muzzling Seb who’s clearly not afraid of authority is that Pirelli have identified an issue and that it won’t be a problem again on the remaining tracks this year. That’s my hope at least and that drivers shouldn’t be in a position where they have to complain to be ensured their safety.

    1. @alec-glen

      to increase the tyre pressures to guard against cuts when any amateur cyclist will know that higher pressure tyres are more likely to puncture and blow out when going over sharp objects.

      I think that is not accurate. First of all, the puncture is very dependent on material and structure of the tire, rather than on the pressure itself. But, a higher inflated tire, can resist better against sharp objects because it will push them away and against snake bites, although are more prone to blowouts, but that on the case when the object has penetrated the tire.

  6. Excellent piece @keithcollantine.

    1. Thank you @lockup :-)

  7. I’d take the drivers’ and teams’ safety concerns about tyres far more seriously if they stuck to the track limits, used the correct cambers/pressures/orientations when setting up the cars.

    But they don’t. They’re quite happy to ignore safety advice if they think there’s an extra couple of tenths in it.

    Come back to me when you haven’t got all 4 wheels over the white line, using tyres that are on the wrong side of the car at odd angles and under-inflated.

    1. > ome back to me when you haven’t got all 4 wheels over the white line,

      Because Pirelli doesn’t have into account this, isn’t?

      And if it is not fined, it is legal, they are in the track limits

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        11th September 2015, 17:17

        No it’s not legal. It’s illegal but they get away with it because the FIA fails to police it’s own rules.

        It’s no different to speeds in the pitlane – should they ban the teams from entering the pit lane til cars are stationary? Should they treble the width of all pitlanes? No – they set a speed limitand police that limit.

    2. @hairs
      The problem isn’t the validity of the complaints, it’s the right to voice complaints in the first place.

      1. They want to be able to complain *when it suits them*. When the focus returns to their own contributing behaviour, suddenly they’re all selective.

        1. @hairs
          Of course they do, they’re only human.
          How many times have you heard people complaining about the police setting up mobile speed traps ?
          Ever noticed that no one ever mentions that the fact that they were speeding was the reason they got caught ?
          Of course not, it’s always the police’s fault.

          1. Isn’t the complaint more that the police spend a large proportion of their budget on monitoring driver behaviour on the roads while simultaneously telling people who have just been burgled to gather their own evidence, a police officer won’t be attending the scene.

    3. You know what u call a driver who sticks to track limits when others don’t?

      A loser. Those tens of a second matter.

      So they have two choices. Lose, or try to fix the problem. Enforcing try limits, fixing tires, something

      1. @slotopen That’s also what you call a cyclist who doesn’t take drugs. It doesn’t make it right.

        1. @jerseyf1
          Cyclists are repeatedly tested for drugs, and banned when caught.
          When was the last time we saw drivers punished for going over the track limits ?
          Maybe it happens at the odd circuit, normally after an accident at a previous round, but never consistently throughout a season.

  8. I was never a fan of Jacques Villenueve, but I always respected the fact that he spoke his mind and never held back in his criticism of the sport.
    Who wants to hear drivers regurgitating press releases and avoiding anything even mildly controversial ?
    There’s enough bland PR talk in the sport (some of the worst being the post race radio messages between the driver and teams), do we really have to endure divers being gagged about their concerns just to keep the likes of Pirelli happy ?

    1. Vile niece was dragged in front of an FIA kangaroo court for daring to criticise the new for 1998 regulations at a critical stage of the 97 championship.

      1. Yeah and it was tire related then too. He called the new grooved tires a joke.

  9. Is not speaking out in public about this a safety issue? The public will not improve the tyres Pirelli can only do that and they can be told about this in private by the drivers. The ban is on expressing this in public. If Tyres blow up the F1 fans round the world will fill the internet expressing how bad the tyres are and they cannot be silenced by Bernie.

    I am strongly against shutting the drivers up as we seldom here their real opinion on things due to pr but I would not say by not allowing them to express their views in public a safety issue is being created.

    1. Then you are being naive, Pirelli are in F1 for the PR value, hushing up problems takes the pressure to fix the problem away so they can cross their fingers and do nothing.

  10. Both the tyres and “engines” suck. Accept it. This is the WORST era in F1. Ever. It’s certainly the least entertaining – to the point where chaos is lauded and actual racing is called boring.

    The fact remains, there is a gag order in place and it’s a disgrace.

    1. I am now watching the yearly FIA reviews. I’ve watched form 1970 to 1994 so far. Indeed, compared to back then, F1 today is unbelievably boring and I wonder why any of us actually watch it. I suppose it’s like a bad TV series you keep watching hoping it gets better.

  11. F1 can always be proud of just how different its commercial culture is from IndyCar. F1 abandoned the cheap thrill of double points before it could ruin a championship result, whereas IndyCar perhaps served up the most bitter tasting championship finale of modern times a few weeks ago in Sonoma. Also, drivers have always been quick to voice their views about changes to F1 regulations, including negative remarks. However following the implementation of aero-kits in IndyCar this year, and in spite of the fact they have made overtaking more difficult, been linked to a spectator injury and seemingly caused a number of aerobatic crashes (including that which ruled James Hinchcliffe out for the rest of the season), the drivers have been suspiciously quiet on the subject of reform. Or rather, accordingly quiet, since it is enshrined in IndyCar’s regulations that drivers are unable to criticise either the sport or the sport’s title sponsors.

    It is always worth remembering that whilst F1 is beset with structural faults, and seemingly an increasingly dictatorial motoring-themed circus to make Bernie’s daughters even richer, the transatlantic comparison will always be flattering. It would be inconceivable for a sporting penalty to exude from breaking this admittedly autocratic, but subtle, memorandum. Until the day that FOM chooses to censor drivers (more than they are already being gagged by their teams), I doubt any driver would register any qualm over voicing a genuine concern about the tyres.

    1. @countrygent

      However following the implementation of aero-kits in IndyCar this year, and in spite of the fact they have made overtaking more difficult

      Overtaking was no harder this year than it was in the past, In fact on a few circuits the racing was better with more overtaking than the past few years.

      been linked to a spectator injury and seemingly caused a number of aerobatic crashes (including that which ruled James Hinchcliffe out for the rest of the season), the drivers have been suspiciously quiet on the subject of reform.

      The aero kits had nothing to do with James Hinchcliffe’s accident, The suspension failed & pierced the chassis when he hit the wall.
      The car got on its side as it skidded down the track (Although no further damage was done to James as a result of that) but that had nothing to do with the aero kit, It was just a result of half the car been missing allowing air to get under the car & the same happened with the old car & going back further the old CART/Champcar’s (See Bobby Rahal’s crash at Motegi in 1998).

      1. @gt-racer, how can you be certain the new aero kits were not linked to the crash? The new downforce levels and higher speeds could have put even more strain on the suspension…leading it to fail. I don’t think speaking in absolute terms when we don’t know for a fact is not very helpful. If we know the suspension failed…what caused the suspension to fail in the first place?

        It would also seem you are just cheery picking what @countrygent said. I completely agree with him. For all the faults F1 has, it does many things right. I would argue it does most things right. But its so much easier to point out and focus on the negatives. Which is precisely why I think all the negativity surrounding the sport of F1 is caused by the media and an irrational fan base with zero regard for context. F1 is suppose to have a smart fan base, but this very fan base has zero room for nuance. We have hundreds of articles written about Pirelli bashing with nothing to substantiate the claims made about Pirelli’s incompetence or inability to produce quality tires etc. But when it comes to bigging up what a remarkable feat the new power units and cars are: All we get are sentences like “the new power unites are a remarkable technological accomplishment.” And that would it…followed by paragraphs and hundreds of follow up articles bashing the engines..”they are not loud enough” “they are expensive” “Too complicated” etc ..etc..

        The media covering F1 are always so eager for a controversy. See this site for example. See Ted Kravitz from SkyF1. That dude wanted a major controversy to blow up sooo bad. Fortunately smarter, more sensible people are put in charge of monitoring and ruling on cases like that. The notion that Mercedes with their massive performance advantage would jeopardize their championships by running 1.1 or .3 PSI lower is just ludicrous. That common sense thinking was thrown out the window and everyone was practically salivating at the prospects of Mercedes being disqualified and the impending the controversy the would be dragged on for months.

        That false controversy thankfully failed and now we are back to the false Pirelli tire controversy because fans and certain writers just won’t let it go.

        1. @sudd

          how can you be certain the new aero kits were not linked to the crash? The new downforce levels and higher speeds could have put even more strain on the suspension…leading it to fail.

          If it were related to the aero kits putting extra load or something you would have seen multiple failures or at least seen signs of failure on multiple cars.

          Also there was no mention about aero kits been a contributing factor in any of the post accident analysis from Indycar, Dallara or Andretti Autosport & there was no alteration to the kits or the suspension which there would have been if they felt the failure was caused by the aero kit or something else which could be a problem.

          The only change they made was a steel block added to the end of the suspension arm to prevent it from punching through the chassis as it had in Hinchcliffe’s accident.

      2. @gt-racer I am no IndyCar aficionado, so whilst I watched most of the races this year, I will defer to your understanding of Hinchcliffe’s accident. However, as @sudd explains, it is in many ways irrelevant to the point I was making: namely that reform dialogue and debate is infinitely more prevalent in F1 than it is in IndyCar.

        The British coverage especially has always been quick to criticise the sport, and I would argue the BBC has been instrumental in progressing that culture since 2009. I takes guts to spend FP1 in Melbourne ’09, the first session aired live of the BBC in years, evaluating in detail just how ugly the 2009 aerodynamics are. Sky do appear more covert in their attempt to disguise gratuitously poor races, but to their credit, invariably spend much of the four hours of practice discussing the direction of the sport.

        In terms of the IndyCar situation, it remains as an indisputable fact, specifics aside, that the new aero-kits have not been unilaterally supported by both fans and drivers. And yet the conversation about IndyCar’s new direction in both the ABC and the NBC coverage has been virtually non-existent. American sport seemingly refuses to acknowledge that debate and discussion ought to be a singularly central factor in being a sports fan, meaning that IndyCar is instead presented like a TV soap, with the only discussion being about past episodes and the likely content of the next episodes. Certainly, the script writer receives no complaints. And as with every TV saga, the final episode must be the climax, and therefore double points are deemed necessary.

        And when you have finished wondering what is missing from IndyCar coverage you can read the rightfully infamous article 9.3.8. As a European motorsports fan, as a fan of liberal politics, it makes my eyes water.

        1. Hmmm…just some random thoughts regarding this comparison of Indycar to F1 re self-criticism of their respective series’.

          Indycar (a thimbleful the size of F1) is very mindful these days that it’s brand continues to need building for market share. It is a ‘successful’ series but not hugely so. Perhaps drivers and teams are instinctively aware that they can scarcely afford to criticize it too much based on it’s relative weakness to NASCAR in North America, and F1 globally, and hence their relative quiteness. That said, @countrygent I believe the new aero kits were introduced partly to help reduce the huge shunts that drivers started to decry publicly upon experiencing the kinds of tire on tire contacts that were sending cars flying into the catch fences when you have spec cars racing so close to each other at such high speed ovals as they have. So is it reasonable to expect much criticism of the aero kits that were wanted/needed and put in place for safety reasons even if they’re not perfect?

          NASCAR drivers have also been aired post restrictor plate races decrying the dangerous closeness that those particular high speed races and their incessant accidents provide, literally saying they guess things won’t change until someone dies but they guess that type of racing is what Nascar and the fans want.

          The double points? Yeah F1 abandoned that, but not before trying the ‘cheap thrill’ themselves. It is a sign of desperation for audience, and there was no shortage of ultra-predictable bitterness expressed by those drivers that were robbed by them, such as Montoya. Will Power called Indycar a lottery. JPM rued that it didn’t matter what he did all season, as in, lead the series. Ie. the bitterness about the double points came from the drivers speaking in public after the race, no different than we all predicted would have and could have happened in F1.

          F1 still is and has been considered the biggest and the best, yet we happen to be at a time when that is highly debatable in many peoples’ opinion, and they didn’t just pull those opinions out of a hat, or because they are all so blind and uneducated that they simply regurgitate what media tells them…media that also cannot get away with just making stuff up. There has to be some modicum of truth to or reason for the criticism or the articles/authors would have no place/job. Also, it is naive to think that writing about roses and kittens all the time has ever kept an audience’s attention for any longer than it takes to smell a rose or pet a kitty.

          Reform dialogue and debate may be infinitely more prevalent in F1 than Indycar, but then F1 is infinitely bigger and vaster in scope, and yet there is still a degree of censorship, and I think in most cases a self-check by most on how not to run the very entity that employs them into the ground…until they truly feel it is their life that they are fighting for that is.

  12. Excellent article @keithcollantine

    This is basic public relations 101 and yet many who run large and small businesses and organizations fail to realize it. Having an open door (open comment) policy and transparency leads to more trust in your brand and a better public image. As soon as transparency is decreased through publicly known policy changes or well known common knowledge and behavior your brand becomes more suspect whether justified or not. Public relations is not rocket science. You build trust by open behaviors and transparency. You lose it by ordering silence within your own organization. The public will immediately wonder what you are hiding every time. Whether you have anything to hide or not. You will more quickly overcome difficult situations by being open and honest. Seems fairly simple, doesn’t it?

    The Tylenol poisoning cases from years ago are a classic example on how not to do things. Bernie and Pirelli are becoming the modern poster children in wrong PR. There were so many better ways to handle this issue that would be far less damaging to F1 and Pirelli and could actually lead to solving problems instead of pretending they will just go away.

    It seems to be more obvious every day that Pirelli (following Bernie’s lead) is the wrong tire supplier for F1. But, since Bernie seems to have already made his decision, it looks like this madness is likely to continue.

  13. Bernie and Pirelli are becoming the modern poster children in wrong PR.” – And IndyCar I might add.

  14. Ecclestone is going to award the new F1 tyre contract to Pirelli based on the amount of trackside advertising that they provide. That tells you all you need to know about the situation.

  15. Excellent article @keithcollantine I’d love to see more editorial pieces from you.
    I’ve read a lot of the comments here and I would like to perhaps play a little devils advocat as this isn’t a straight black and white situation, not as far as I can tell.

    As you all know, in 2013 Pirelli was rumoured to pull the pin after the terrible press they received throughout the season, especially after the Silverstone race. While the tyres did blow up and the construction was at fault, the core of the issue was the direction given to Pirelli, by Bernie. Had Pirelli been free to make any tyre they wished, I’m sure we’d be enjoying a more durable and consistent performing tyre, as I do believe that Pirelli as a tyre manufacturer for both road going vehicles and other racing series, has a proven record in their ability to make tyres fit for purpose. I personally believe that in 2013, Pirelli agreed to stay on, if they could remain out of the news headlines, and while Keith highlights the narrow window for the wet tyres to operate in, I do think Pirelli themselves were much happier with their performance in 2014, and also from the media side. This is the preamble to this whole scenario, fast forward to Spa and I think the most concerning thing is, the lack of answers as to what caused the faults, eventually Pirelli responded. However, had Pirelli come out and said, the tyres running at low pressures, consistently running over kerbs, is the main issue, and said that at the outset prior to the race when Rosberg had his issue in practise, and then if we saw the subsequent failure for Vettel occur, this would be a non-issue for drivers and fans.

  16. To my mind, a gag order is a terrible idea from the organisers point of view. Sure, you get to control that pesky dissent which the many varied people in your sport may hold against your decisions, but if your decisions were made in good faith, with consideration from experts, then you will already have the answers or at the very least, a reason for your decision. People may not like it, you may not like the criticism but it is surely better than a gag order because with a gag order in place, you not only neutralise the negativity but you make the positivity in the sport way less valuable as well.

    The fans of the sport know that when an outspoken expert in a sport criticises and is allowed to continue to do so, when they make a positive comment, we know we can take that at face value as a fair and representitive comment. When there is no criticism, then any positivity is impossible to take at face value because the fans cannot trust the motivations of the statement. It’s like how if a member of the press only ever produces positive coverage, whether it’s true or not, they get quickly labeled as a shill and the trust vanishes.

    Humans are incredibly sensitive to social context, and whether we know it or not, a gag order destroys our trust in positivity around the sport. F1 is in trouble, and this proves it, but it’s not the sport itself that is the problem, motor racing is as healthy as it has ever been, it’s the people controlling the destiny of F1 who are making it impossible to enjoy the highs because we are all waiting for the next low. We are being – and I apologise for the word I choose to use here, but it’s true – abused. Every great, memorable overtake that we see is ruined by the sheer quantity of DRS enabled ones. Every time a driver pushes the limits and drives spectacularly, in the back of our heads we wonder if he has ruined his race by taking the life from his tyres. Every time Alonso steps into a McLaren, his talent is wasted and his fans stop tuning in.

  17. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th September 2015, 13:08

    The caption is self-explanatory. Drivers should be able to express their opinions about the tyres. The FIA’s role is to investigate that. If it is found that the teams have been partly responsible for tyre failures, then the teams must BE FORCED accept that portion of the blame publicly so as to exonerate the tyre manufacturer.
    It’s obvious, at least to me, that Pirelli is trying to provide the best quality tyres for F1 at least from what I’ve seen. They check and recheck and put stamps and all kinds of things on the tyre. We only wish airlines followed the same strict level of checks.

    But as we’ve seen with Williams putting the WRONG TYRE – these things can happen and just as it had huge implications on Bottas’ race, the same can happen when a tyre fails at such high speeds.

  18. ResultantAsteroid
    13th September 2015, 13:05

    So, drivers should be silent so as not to upset FOM Partners Pirelli.
    And this happening just a few months after we lost Jules, the first driver fatality after 21 years.
    Even without Jules’ accident last year, I would personally have been very worried by the blowouts, but would have probably understood the argument of the other side, them being extra confident in the safety measures in F1 then.
    I remember when Alonso’s accident happened while testing before this season started, everyone (including me) attacked McLaren, some of us were even very aggressive although none of us had any clear clue of why that strange accident happened. Was this NOT a very bad PR for McLaren?!!! So, clearly an open season on McLaren for a weird accident is ok but an attack on Pirelli for a repeat of the same blowout problem we saw in 2013 is not.

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