Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Pirelli want answers on Silverstone tyre failures by Tuesday

2020 British Grand Prix

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Formula 1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli is aiming to get to the bottom of its British Grand Prix tyre failures within the next 48 hours.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, plus McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jnr, all suffered punctures in the final laps of the race. Hamilton won the race after crossing the line with a blown front-left tyre.

“We will obviously investigate what happened in the last few laps,” said Pirelli’s head of motor sport Mario Isola. “It’s a bit early now to give you any conclusion.”

The circumstances of the race indicate a combination of high tyre wear plus debris on the track left by Kimi Raikkonen and others may have led to the failures, said Isola.

“It could be high wear because for sure, tyres with 38 laps or more on this circuit are quite worn. But I’m not saying that the wear is the cause of the issue.

“It can be debris because some pieces of the front wing of Kimi that were on track, but also some other debris. So that’s why we want to investigate on not only the tyres being a failure, but all the tyres used in the last few laps of the race to understand if we find any other cut or any other possible indication on what happened.”

Some drivers had levels of tyre wear which were “close to 100%”, said Isola. He wants to complete the investigation quickly as F1 will race at the same circuit next weekend, with softer tyre compounds.

“We have the possibility to do some analysis on our laboratories here are on track,” he said. “It is clear that we don’t have a lot of time to carry on with the investigation because we have another race in less than one week. So we have to come to a conclusion as soon as possible.

“The target is to have something more hopefully by tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest.”

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57 comments on “Pirelli want answers on Silverstone tyre failures by Tuesday”

  1. By Tuesday!? Blimey, they haven’t got any answers for years!

    1. ;) They will

  2. DAS is to blame.

    Looking at that photo, all 4 of Hamilton’s tyres look done.

    1. Yeah but it happened on the mclaren too.

      1. And possibly Kvyat

    2. You realize that DAS affects only front tyres?
      And McLaren…

    3. DAS doesn’t affect rear tyres though, so I’m not sure that can be blamed. If anything DAS could have helped the longevity of the tyres by reducing the toe angle on the straights. Plus Sainz had the same failure and Kvyat had a mysterious failure too. Finally the tyres should look done after a 40 lap stint and half a lap with one of the three tyres deflated.
      Too early to draw any conclusions at this point but I suspect they’ll say it’s debris related.

    4. @davidjwest Don’t think they even use it during the race – only in qualifying to control tyre temps for the flying lap. And it only adjusts the toe angle on the front wheels, so there’s no reason it would ruin all 4 tyres – that’s likely just regular tyre wear.

      1. @keithedin They were both using DAS during the safety cars.

        Although given how other teams suffered issues with tyres I doubt it had anything to do with the failures.

    5. @davidjwest

      “DAS is to blame” – No. The same thing happened on several other cars today none of which have DAS.

      “Looking at that photo, all 4 of Hamiltons tyres look done.” Erm.. that’s Bottas.

      1. It was kind of tongue in cheek, but interesting only Merc had both cars with the same issue.

        1. I think they were the only team with both cars on identical strategies. Even mclaren had a lap or so difference between their cars.

        2. Only Mercedes were pushing the tyres that hard. Remember their a second a lap quicker than anyone else!

      2. There’s a whopping big #77 on that car in the photo and also the camera pod is painted yellow, that’s Valtteri not Lewis.

    6. F1oSaurus (@)
      3rd August 2020, 7:20

      @davidjwest You can actually see the damage on Bottas’ right front too. It’s funny how when Bottas was complaining about his tyres, “they” showed one of those tyre graphics for Bottas with his front right being displayed as red. Indeed you could see a clear black line developing on it. Yet ultimately the front left was the one that gave up

  3. I’m looking forward to next weekend’s race. Strategically quite interesting with softer tyre compounds, more pit stops, higher wear. But hopefully all without exploding tyres.

  4. The Pirelli side show was epic today and brought some much needed entertainment to an otherwise dull race.
    I look forwards to more of the same next weekend!

  5. My hope is that they don’t try to fix things with an updated tire allocation for next week.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s mainly a safety concern if you’re expecting the tires to last longer than they actually do.

    Tire issues make things quite interesting. I want to see a four-stop race!

    1. Agree 100% the teams chose how long to run the tyres not Pirelli, they can only advise and suggest. The team should be fined for running tyres until they fail. Its not a good look.

      1. Pirelli said the tires were good for 40 laps. All three drivers were well under that, and both Bottas and Hamilton’s tires failed with almost zero warning.

        And apparently, Verstappen’s tire had enough small cuts in it it was on the verge of failing.

        Last time that many tires failed in one race, Pirelli blamed the kerbs at Silverstone.

      2. @thebullwhipper Pirelli’s guidelines were that tires were good for 40+ laps. None of those that suffered issues had done more than 38 laps so none of the teams had pushed the tires longer that Pirelli said they could.

        And the 40 lap guideline is based off drivers pushing flat out which clearly they weren’t given how much management these tires require. Lando Norris said during the Sky coverage that they were managing tires from lap 1 & that drivers are very frustrated with how unsatisfying these rubbish pirellis make races to drive.

        Jenson Button also commented on how this isn’t how F1 should be & that they need to bring better tires.

  6. Just a shame we can’t find a competent tyre supplier by next week because the pirellis have never been up to f1 standards.

    I dream to return to days where drivers had tyres they could actually lean on rather than have to constantly baby. They can’t even go flat out for a full lap in qualifying on these joke tyres.

    1. I don’t blame Pirelli for that, it’s FOM demanding that the tyres wear in such a way to force pit stops. They could make tyres that last forever, but the mandate is for predictable degradation.

      1. The mandate is for fast degrading tyres, not fast exploding tyres.

        I predicted these tyre failures on Friday, so let me predict what happens next: after an ‘investigation’, Pirelli has determined that these tyre failures are due to ‘debris’ on the track.

        1. Nice prediction @paeschli.

        2. That’s the issue here, tyres went from fastest lap to exploding within a few laps without significant pace drop. Can be quite dangerous if you can’t predict it. I am not against some predictability but it should be through wear and pace change as meant by the request.

      2. @zapski @paeschli Pirelli have not been asked to make high degredation tires since 2016. It was maybe an excuse in the past but it certainly isn’t one they have now as since 2017 they have been free to make the best tires possible.

    2. Formula 1 released a tender, Pirelli were the cheapest tenderer, so they won the contract. Pirelli developed a tyre specifically for the 2020 season, but F1 rejected it and said they much preferred the 2019 tyres (which were designed in 2018) that had been the subject of criticism during the 2019 season. The 2020 tyres were given to every team to test and they all, without exception, rejected them and they all said the better tyres were inferior to their old designed in 2018 tyres. So, to summarise: F1 wanted and got the cheapest tyres they could get that were built to a 2018 specification, and when tyres were built to cater to the power output of this year’s cars they too were rejected. It doesn’t matter which company’s tyres F1 chose, they’d all have been built to a cheap specification that was released in 2018, and there’s no evidence the teams would want better tyres.
      So basically F1 bought the cheapest tyres they could and, maybe they aren’t happy with them, but they don’t want anything better. Don’t blame Pirelli, blame F1 because they could have gotten better but unanimously rejected that idea.

    3. Although I enjoy ‘bashing’ Pirelli from time to time we mustn’t forget one important detail. 13” wheels are to small to give these tyres support needed to withstand lateral forces of contemporary F1 cars. The wheel rim size dictates the height of tyre’s side walls being to ‘high’ not to bend extensively. Regardless of failure causes they are going to publicize I’ll have a very hard time accepting an explanation that debris caused complete separation of sidewalls from the ‘tread’ surface. It’s a design flaw down to technical regulations rather than Pirelli. Pirelli is under pressure to do something impossible and it is reasonable to accept that fact. The best thing coming out of these failures would be starting next season on 18” wheels. That would be marvelous!

  7. Was Kvyat’s accident caused by a puncture?

    1. most likely what i hear.

  8. Calling it now… Debris will be the cause.

  9. What tyre compounds are going to be at the 70th GP race

    1. 1-step softer I heard, so today’s softs will be next weeks mediums 😳. Types pressures wil deffo go up. Surely all teams will be a little less risk averse re tyres next weekend. I expect most teams will do 2-stop but that some teams will try 3 stop

      1. Last year, Albon did a 39 lap stint on the mediums (C2, same as this year’s mediums). It wasn’t the plan though (he had an electrical problem which meant the pit crew couldn’t touch the car).

        A 1 stop might be doable (but maybe not very fast unless there’s a SC at the perfect moment). A 2 stop will definitely be the main strategy, and I expect a lot of teams (even midfielders) will try to run mediums in Q2 since the softs will be dead within 5 laps. So maybe a chance for Russell to reach Q3?

  10. How can they think debris from Raikkonen’s front wing may caused the issue when Raikkonen was actually one of the first victims of tyre trouble?

    1. Wrong side of the track too, what about Magnussen’s collision with Albon?

      1. Blarney Stone
        3rd August 2020, 0:35

        You mean Albon punting Magnussen? That was cleaned up…happened early on.

    2. Räikkönen didn’t have tyre trouble. The left side of his front wing was hanging and maybe that cut his tyre. He also ran over it when it fell down, so if he had any tyre issues that was probably the cause.

      By the time the left half of his wing fell down, some of the winglets were already missing, so debris isn’t exactly an outlandish explanation. Very worn tyres are more susceptible to suffer a puncture from debris, and the front left tyre gets completely hammered.

  11. Anyone else notice how AFTER Hamilton’s tire let go, the stupid Amazon graphic still rated it 10% left?

    1. Glad you noticed that too! Just goes to prove how useless these graphics are :)

      (But they’ll probably try to explain it away, by saying that information was from the previous lap) 🙄

  12. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd August 2020, 0:06

    If I remember rightly Albon switched onto mediums. It’d be interesting to compare his degredation on a presumably softer compound to the hards, especially as he was obviously pushing on them reasonably harder than a lot of the harder tyre runners around him. Also why there was a failure on Sainz’s McLaren but not on Norris’s despite them both running relatively similar pace, strategy and track position.

  13. Mercedes are literally driving the wheels off. They will need to slow it down next weekend in order to finish.

  14. The Blarney Stone
    3rd August 2020, 0:33

    I don’t see what the problem was….the teams simply went too far on the Hard tires….even though they’re hard tires, you can’t run them that long and expect they won’t wear out. Pirelli is not at fault that teams are running their tires close to 40 laps on one stint, at a super high-speed track with ultra-fast-tire-scrubbing corners.

  15. John Toad (@)
    3rd August 2020, 0:56

    Why not have a tyre allocation per car for the season of say one and a half sets per race.
    All tyres are the same compound.
    No mandatory pit stops.
    Tyre use at teams discretion.
    Wets and intermediate rules as per now.

    The benefits of this are:
    Cost saving.
    Different tactics at each race as teams use, or not use, pit stops and tyre changes

  16. That photo is incredible!
    I wonder if it was safety car free race if he would have made minimum weight at the end of the race?
    What a phenomenal amount of tire wear!

  17. The article kind of answered itself there; tire wear near 100%+debris on track from Kimi and others late in the race. Certainly had me on the edge of my seat, for sure!

  18. Funny how 3 cars all had the same tyre blow in the same location, but sure, it’s debris!

  19. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    3rd August 2020, 4:29

    A different take here…

    Was Bottas partly to blame for both Merc failures? He was constantly around 1.4-1.8 seconds behind till about lap 43-44, in hot air at that, which meant Lewis had to push to maintain the gap as well.

    On most occassions, once Hamilton is ahead at the start, he just drives off into the distance. It wasn’t the case yesterday. Kinda weird tyres which are supposed to last 40 laps come apart after 32.

    Still doesn’t explain the failure on Sainz’s car though. I’m not buying the debris theory by Pirelli one bit.

    1. maybe he was, but what was he supposed to do? not drive for the win? if nothing else Mercedes could have easily switched both to a 2-stop , without losing track position (even with a very slow pit stop I’m sure they could have both passed Verstappen real quick)

  20. Pirelli have had 7 yrs to prevent life threatening punctures on their F1 tyres.

    2013 – 6 Tyre failures at Silverstone
    2020 – Tyre failures almost destroyed the race.
    Wear is normal – Tyre Failure is unacceptable

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      3rd August 2020, 7:28

      In 2017 both Ferrari’s went long and both had similar punctures too.

      When the drivers go longer on the same tyre there always is more risk of tyre failures. Especially when there is debris on track and the drivers hit kerbs and potholes like they do.

  21. They went too long on the rubber. Its not rocket science. With all the cameras the teams have access to they should be able to spot a bit of wear. I don’t know why Pirelli are expected to make 1 set last nearly the whole race…

    1. @skipgamer Pirelli’s guidelines said the hard compound could last 40+ laps & none of those that suffered issues had even done 40 laps so how did any of them go too long?

      And factor in that a bunch of the laps they had done was under Safety car on top of how much management is required now meaning they are rarely (If ever) at full pace pushing the tires that hard.

      It’s also not as if the tires suffered any significant performance loss before failing which is also an issue. In the past with previous tire suppliers as well as in other categories you have a lot of warning that the tires are reaching the end of life because they suffer gradual performance loss & tend to be miles off the pace offering little grip before eventually failure. The Pirelli’s just fail without warning while still offering very good performance which should be a real big concern.

      If Pirelli can’t understand there own tires & if they give so little feel that they can fail without warning they are simply not good enough & it’s time for a new supplier to be given an opportunity IMO.

  22. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    3rd August 2020, 7:55

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Pirelli produce more robust construction for the 2020 season but they were rejected by the teams in favour of retaining the 2019 spec?

    1. @jackisthestig They did produce 2020 tires they claimed were better, But after testing both teams & drivers felt they were worse.

      Pirelli often claim there new tires are better but it often ends up been untrue. They have been saying for years they will fix the temperature sensitivity & silly tiny operating windows yet continually fail to meet even there own targets year after year.

      No wonder Pirelli struggle to beat rival suppliers in any category where they have competition. They simply aren’t a very good tire supplier & are probably fortunate they don’t have competition in F1 as if they did we would see just how bad these rubbish tires are.

  23. Hitting the edge of the curb at Chapel before heading onto Hanger Straight. Longer the race went on, the deeper the hole in the dirt would have been getting. The curb there starts too far into the corner for F1 cars.

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