Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Pirelli investigation reveals ‘highest forces ever’ contributed to Silverstone punctures

2020 British Grand Prix

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Formula 1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli has concluded its investigation into the punctures which occured in Sunday’s British Grand Prix and confirmed it will press ahead with plans to bring softer tyres for this weekend’s second race at Silverstone.

Pirelli said Sunday’s race saw “the biggest forces ever seen” and “the most challenging operating conditions for tyres”. In the final four laps Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jnr all suffered unexpected tyre failures.

It pointed out lap times fell by over one second at the circuit and that an early Safety Car period meant most of the field attempted to do more than three-quarters of the race distance on a single set of tyres.

“A set of individual race circumstances led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres,” said Pirelli in a statement.

“The second Safety Car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.

“Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 Formula 1 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history.

“The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.”

For this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Pirelli will bring the C2 and C3 tyres again, but replace the hardest C1 compound with the second-softest C4 compound, as previously planned. In light of Sunday’s failures it will review the tyre usage guidance for teams and increase the minimum tyre pressures to reduce the strain on the constructions.

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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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68 comments on “Pirelli investigation reveals ‘highest forces ever’ contributed to Silverstone punctures”

  1. Not sure why Pirelli think they get a pass on pace increase. In the hybrid era we see an average of 1.3% pace increase across the tracks each year. The maligned 1.2 second increase above is what 1.4%? Certainly should have been within their expected bounds for 2020 performance give tracks like Barcelona and Hungaroring are seen much larger pace increase (~2.4% and 2% per annum on average). Those tracks have fast long corners, so loading might be going up at a greater rate than the pace, but still, this weekends pace neatly fits a reasonably simple model of performance advancement.

    1. Certainly should have been within their expected bounds for 2020 performance

      Pirelli expected it, and proposed different tyres for 2020.
      But the teams said no, and FIA is too weak to mandate the tyres Pirelli proposed.
      @ezef1

      Teams’ fault; they sort it out.
      Let’s hope we get more pit stops rather than more cautious driving.

      1. @coldfly
        Most of the teams bar Mercedes & Racing Point are more or less on last year’s pace. Mercedes are indeed 7 tenths faster than last year. How much of that is down to their progress on the PU side and how much is down to the DAS bringing the tyres quickly to temperature, we just don’t know but if even if it was all down to the chassis, tyres must not fail the way they did because Pirelli should have expected in 2019 when developing those tyres that teams could develop their cars throughout the season and cars could go at least a lot faster as a result.

      2. @coldfly Pirelli presented “different” tyres for 2020, but they didn’t work and they would require a redesign of the cars.

        1. ‘Specially designed for the increased loads of 2020’ different, @f1osaurus.
          And they worked perfectly for that purpose.
          Or as Ross said: the 2020 tyres were “more of what the drivers were asking for, which was a tyre they could lean on more and they drive a bit harder without losing performance. And there’s certainly signs that they achieved that.

          And yes there was an impact on aerodynamics (different side wall and distortion). But now you see what happens when you want to be lazy and stick to what you know.
          Again, as Ross said in December: “I would have preferred to have persevered and stuck with the 2020 tyres and solved the issues because I think they did achieve the objectives. But it’s a team decision and that’s where it’s gone.”

          1. @coldfly
            With all my respects, Ross has been talking nonsense recently since he’s been appointed the sport’s motorsport director. He’s just like a commercial guy trying to sell a product.

            But now you see what happens when you want to be lazy and stick to what you know

            What’s the point of redesigning a whole car to get the same result. Do you seriously think that Pirelli after years and years of failure in making F1 tyres and with no change to their processes will out of the blue start making spectacular tyres ?

          2. Do you seriously think that Pirelli after years and years of failure in making F1 tyres and with no change to their processes will out of the blue start making spectacular tyres ?

            No I don’t think they would be spectacular, @tifoso1989.
            But I do trust Pirelli/Ross (at least more than I trust the average commenter on the internet) if they claim that the tyres were better equipped for the 2020 cars and allow drivers to race ‘harder’.

            As I mentioned above, FIA should’ve mandated the tyres as developed and proposed by Pirelli.
            If those 2020 tyres had caused this, then I would be amongst the first to blame Pirelli.

          3. @coldfly The tyres were designed to do what the drivers asked for, but they just didn’t deliver.

            You can pretend that Pirelli is speaking the truth and these proposed 2020 tyres were indeed glorious and everything everybody hoped for. However seeing how poor their offering has always been, i’m going to put more weight on the teams complaining about the poor 2020 spec tyres.

          4. @coldfly
            You can forget about the average internet commenter. His opinion is irrelevant.

            How about the end users that are testing the product (teams & drivers) that stated that it didn’t meet their expectations. Are they less credible than a company using F1 to market their products and a commercial guy ? (though Ross is a technical guy but he is working with the commercial rights holders)

          5. @coldfly pirellis findings statements are worrying as they are very ambiguous, and lack substance!

            Also 2020 tyre suggestion has been tested and all drivers/teams rejected it not because it was better or anythingike that, they would have to spend gazillion on aero and break and what not to get same performance levels for what? 1 year before rules change again… Not sure it is a clever idea when costs are being cut down massively… Makes no logical and financial sense for adventures… Merc had DAS adventure but it wasn’t done for this year specifically, it was on the works before it is outlawed next year… Some teams objected to it because a it seemed too costly to replicate if it works and they don’t wanna go down that route for one year adventure but they didn’t wanna lag behind massively if the advantage it brings was too great to ignore..

        2. The teams designed and developed new cars anyway, as they do every year.
          Except that the 2020 cars are now capable of outperforming the (2018 designed) 2019 tyres at high-sustained-load circuits.

          This one is definitely on the teams. Pirelli spent a huge sum of money to give them the tyres they asked for, and they rejected them.
          The teams should never have been given the choice – but since they were the ones who decided which tyres to use this year, they need to live with the consequences.

          1. The teams had designed new cars ALREADY. They didn’t want to redo it.

          2. @F1osaurus
            When was the first test of the 2020 spec tyre?
            I’m pretty sure the cars weren’t fully designed by that point.

            And in an organisation that can design and build new parts in a matter of weeks, is it really so bad to alter a design in October/November?
            I mean, on the grounds of having safer tyres….

          3. S How far along do you think they are mid December?

            But yeah right lets start nitpicking on how much money they should waste on tires that offered no improvement and were actually worse on a lot of counts.

          4. @F1osaurus
            December was the second test. First test was early October.
            The teams all spent the exact same amount of money they would have spent anyway. If they have $100m, they spend $100m on whatever development they can spend it on. If they have $300m, they spend $300m – regardless of whether it’s on a new design or refining an existing design.
            That’s generally how a budget works, and it’s no different in F1.

            Oh, ok – you’re absolutely right. Safer tyres are a terrible idea. If you can’t get a tyre working perfectly the first time you use it, it’s rubbish and should be discarded.

      3. 2020 tyres were bad in testing.
        They wouldn’t have coped

  2. Except this 1.2 s increase in performance was primarily by Mercedes. It’s hard to imagine Pirelli counted on top teams not increasing performance this year or were caught off guard by an increase of that amount.

  3. Pirelli tyres exploding or falling off the clip without proper warning is apparently not a safety issue. Okay then.

  4. A tyre been pushed too hard/too long & failing isn’t the problem, The problem is that I don’t think it’s right to happen without any real warning.

    If a tyre is wearing so much that it’s about to reach the end of it’s life then surely it should start to lose a lot of performance & hit the performance cliff long before it totally fails.

    For a tyre to still be offering good performance & be showing no signs that it’s about to hit the end of it’s life & then simply go pop should be looked at as something that simply isn’t right.

    1. @roger-ayles

      For a tyre to still be offering good performance & be showing no signs that it’s about to hit the end of it’s life & then simply go pop should be looked at as something that simply isn’t right.

      I’m pretty sure they were showing both a drop in performance and visible signs of end of life. Both Hamilton and Bottas had horrible blisters (clearly shown on TV), and several drivers complained on the radio about how bad their tyres were.

      1. And Bottas (and later Lewis) complained about extreme vibrations. A clear sign of unbalance and without any damage, only the tires will cause those vibration.

        1. Actually I think only Bottas Verstappen and Sainz were complaining of vibrations. Hamilton said the tyres were still working fine.

          1. @f1osaurus I think Hamilton reported vibrations also, however this was only after he was told what Bottas had reported about his tyres after they’d already gone.

            I think he said something along the lines of “I’m getting vibrations too.”

          2. @justrhysism You could see no vibration in the video before the tyre went. With Bottas and Sainz you could And Verstappen also stated he had vibrations. I never heard Hamilton say anything about vibrations.

            Just saw the Mercedes debrief and they also said Hamilton had no vibration at all. He tyres were perfectly fine, he was going slowly and still his tyre went.

      2. @drmouse Only Bottas had blisters and that was on the front-right tyre

        Bottas, Sainz en Verstappen were complaining of vibrations. They specifically stated that it was not that their tyres were bad. Apart from Bottas who was losing a lot of pace due to the blistering.

      3. @drmouse The blisters aren’t a sign of impending failure though & aren’t even that uncommon an issue with the Pirelli’s. They have also suffered far worse blistering than this & not failed, Thik it was Monza in 2018 where everyone had big blisters across the entire width of the tyres.

        And vibrations are likewise not necessarily a sign of failure as vibrations can be caused by a number of issues from marble pickup, A wheel weight falling off, Damage on the car or even uneven wear.

        Tyres from the past could be worn down to the cords & still be driven without failing, You would lose performance & need to pit but they wouldn’t go pop (Hamilton at China 2007 been an obvious example). You also used to be able to spin/have lock ups without destroying the tyres in the same way as you do the Pirelli’s, Giovinazzi’s tyres delaminating after a simple spin on Friday was a sign of how weak the construction of these tyres appears to be.

        You have heard for years about how drivers don’t have a good feel for them & that they offer no warning before failing like this. It’s just crazy that so many seem so willing to see this as normal & that Pirelli seem unable or unwilling to improve it. We have seen far more tyre related issues like this over the past few years as we have the prior 10-20 years combined & it should be cause for concern.

        1. @roger-ayles Without me having any real knowledge, I personally don’t think Pirelli has the technology or data or engineers to do what they should actually be doing with tyres for F1. I’ve paid a lot attention to comments by drivers in WEC & other series who rave about how amazing Michelin’s tyres are or how drivers say they can push endlessly on their tyres at a very fast pace. Drivers loved their “slick-inter” https://michelinracingusa.com/latest-technical-stunner-michelin-invents-the-hybrid-tire/.

          Now, Pirelli has been trying to emulate the 2010 Canadian GP, where drivers stopped 2-3-4 times that race BUT they were pushing hard, not like today or even worse a few years ago, where drivers drove to, what they would say was 70% of the cars performance to a time delta just to make the tyres last.

          Now don’t even get me started with their wet weather tyres. Never before I we seen so many drivers loosing control behind a safety car on barely wet track or wet safety car starts since Pirelli.

          In my un-knowledgeable opinion, it’s like AMD vs Nvidia/Intel. They have been getting closer in to Intel or Nvidia but the data, technology they use and/or the path they take over all the years of accumulating data, research etc. they just can’t make a product that is superior in every way.

          1. @s2g-unit initially some teams were extremely reluctant to use those tyres and drivers complained about sudden episodes of snap oversteer or sudden losses in grip due to sudden bouts of aquaplaning if water started building up on the track rapidly, but there were some suggestions that they were “discouraged” from speaking out by the fact that Michelin was one of the major sponsors of the WEC.

            Back in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, I recall that the TV broadcasters noted that there had been a couple of accidents from drivers who had been using those tyres during the pre-race test and in the practice sessions. At least one manufacturer in the GT class – Chevrolet – absolutely refused to use them and sent every single one of those tyres back to Michelin and told Michelin that they considered them so unpredictable in their behaviour that they were dangerous to use.

  5. Think up so the excuses they want, ultimately the tyre construction isn’t for for purpose

    Stint length, forces, temperatures, whatever caused the tyres to fail, ultimately the tyre structure failed before the adhesive compound did. They’ve ultimately built a tyre for which the structure has less life than the tread and that’s just dangerous. If the tyre still has tread left to provide grip there’s no way it’s acceptable that the tyres structural materials should be weak enough that they fail first

    1. ultimately the tyre construction isn’t for for purpose

      As I mentioned above, it was the teams who wanted to use these tyres and not the ones that Pirelli developed for the faster 2020 cars.
      @philipgb

  6. Well….
    Pirelli offered new tyres for 2020…the teams rejected it.
    So… stop blaming Pirelli, I guess.

      1. It’s delusional to think their 2020 tires wouldn’t have failed, Pirelli have been very consistent in being an absolute joke of a tire supplier each year

        1. @paeschli
          Remind me how many catastrophic failures there were last year – when the tyres were run on the cars that they were designed for.
          You must have a great deal of inside information on the 2020 spec tyres to be so confident that the same issues would have occurred anyway…

    1. @sbannamalai @david-br

      Pirelli is the supplier, even if teams rejected their 2020 tyres they should have the data, technology and knowledge of their own product that a tyre could fail under certain conditions. Over all of these years, they have clearly shown they don’t know because we have always had random failures or as they say “Delaminations”. Never in the Bridgestone or Michelin era did we have these issues. Nor, were their amazing tyres (i get it, different era, less downforce), so prone being punctured so easily when getting a touch from a front wing.

      Pirelli is absolute garbage. If the drivers had to make 1- stops but they pushed at 90% like the 2010 Canadian GP, that would be fun but according drivers over the years, driving ta 70% or on eggshells to prevent overheating, not attacking other cars becasue of tyres wear means the tyres are garbage.

      1. Never in the Bridgestone or Michelin era did we have these issues.

        Aside from that little incident in 2005 when Michelin’s tyres were so bad, 14 cars couldn’t even start the race…

  7. It was the only logical explanation. I see no improvement from Pirelli regarding this issue because it’s beyond any contemporary tyre technology to produce better tyres of this size. Shorter stints are the quickest solution at the moment. We’ll see, next ‘tyre test’ is in a few days.

    1. Boomerang,
      Even when the cars had similar downforce levels in 2010-2013, I would even say that the 2010 cars were the fastest of that era with the big flexi wings and the EBD, it was clear how superior the 2010 Bridgestones were compared to the Pirellis.
      Drivers were able to do a whole race on one set of tyres (Vettel in Monza). Even in extreme conditions like the 2010 Canadian GP where the asphalt was so abrasive due to several sections of the circuit been resurfaced since 2008, the Bridgestones did have heavy graining that resulted in a lack of grip but didn’t have the same kind of structural failure as the Pirellis.

      1. @tifoso1989
        One set of tyres & I’d bet the pace was very high but we’d have to go back & look at the times. With Pirelli’s now, they can do 30-50 laps at a terrible pace. With their super hard or whatever compound, the drivers will complain of lack of group, tyres being too hard, too hard to get heat into them. A few years ago, driver’s would ask their engineer if they should even attack the car in front out of fear of overheating the tyre after 2-3 corners.

        Now we hear “will he still have enough left in the tyre for sector 3” in qualifying. Pathetic.

  8. I can understand tyres failing like that when they’re clearly no good for racing on (some might argue even a new Pirelli isn’t), but if you look at Hamilton and Sainz’s lap times there was clearly life left in them.

    Sainz provides a better idea because he won’t have been told to chill when Bottas had his failure, while Hamilton would have been. From Lap 36 onwards, Sainz did 15 consecutive laps in the 1:30s/1:29s. The last six laps before his failure were all between 1:29.948 – 1:30.287… his tyre was obviously in reasonable shape if he could lap with that speed and consistency. It shouldn’t just fall apart without warning.

    Speaking of falling apart without warning… any ideas on what caused Kvyat’s right-rear failure?

  9. Just to reiterrate what @sbannamalai and @coldfly have said: Pirelli already had tyres to address this issue, the teams rejected them. This is entirely the teams fault.

    1. @fluxsource Those new tyres were rejected because they weren’t working. For all we know the issues might have been worse with those tyres.

      1. @f1osaurus “weren’t working” could mean a lot of things. I couldn’t find much (although didn’t look much either) about *why* they were rejected, but Pirelli did specifically say that the rejected tyres were a stronger construction.

        1. No (knowledgeable) person said at the time that they ‘weren’t working’!
          There was only some criticism that they expected more.
          In the end they were lazy and stuck to what they knew.
          @f1osaurus, @fluxsource

        2. @fluxsource The primary aim with those tyres was to have a larger operating window & be less temperature sensitive to allow drivers to push harder for longer.

          When drivers tested them some felt they were no different to the previous tyres & others felt they were far worse on top of offering up far less grip due to be harder to get in/keep in the window. Pirelli initially claimed this was due to low track temperatures on the day they first ran them but in much hotter conditions during the Abu Dhabi test the problems remained. I think Pirelli even admitted they had missed the targets they were aiming for in terms of the operating window.

          If the tyres were the step forward Pirelli were aiming for they would be using them but they very clearly weren’t so they were unanimously voted against.

          Gone are the days when the new tyres were always a step ahead of the old one’s. We are now into year 9 of the pinnacle of the sport having the worst tyres in the sport sadly.

          1. Maybe I’ve seen too much F1 over the years, but I seem to recall quite a lot of failures from Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear throughout the years, and they were in development wars with each other to provide something better than their competitors.
            What was their excuse then? And was it good enough for you?

            As I said in the other thread, nobody else is developing tyres that meet all the requirements of current F1 cars and F1 management. Not even Avon/Cooper – and they make tyres for everything.
            I’d be all for a second or third tyre supplier to come in, but until that happens or Pirelli leave F1, you’ll just have to suck it up and accept that Pirelli are the sole supplier in F1.

          2. S,

            Maybe I’ve seen too much F1 over the years, but I seem to recall quite a lot of failures from Michelin, Bridgestone and Goodyear throughout the years, and they were in development wars with each other to provide something better than their competitors

            That’s still not a fair comparison though. Teams used to invert the tyres left & right, play with camber angles, tyre pressure and do many more tricks to extract the maximum performance/durability from the tyres.

            The FIA are forcing the teams to use the Pirellis “user guide” and none of the tricks mentioned above can be done nowadays with the Pirellis something I believe never seen in any other motorsport category before.

  10. It’s not quite so simple as that – I seem to remember Pirelli saying they’d increase tyre pressures etc to ensure they were safe to race on. Did they underestimate things or did they know the tyres were unsafe?

    I don’t blame the teams because they were asked a question and gave an answer – I blame the FIA for allowing this situation to happen and Pirelli for providing unsafe tyres. If they knew there was a problem prior to the race, they should have spoken publicly about it.

  11. Fair play to Pirelli for not blaming debris or the track. I think the fact that each failure looked identical was a big pointer that this was a structural failure that was instigated by the excessive wear. I still personally don’t think it’s right the structure failed while there was tread enough for performance to be within an acceptable window but it is fair that this is one of the toughest tests throughout the year and the stint lengths extreme.

    I actually think the softer tyres will have a significant performance drop off that wasn’t present on the C1 tyre so this shouldn’t be a big problem this weekend. Not sure increasing the tyre pressures is really the answer but then I’m not a tyre engineer.

  12. For me if this is the best Pirelli are able to do then it’s simply not good enough, The tyres are not upto F1 standards & another supplier should be brought in if they believe they can do better.

    And if it’s down to some mandate about high degredation then it’s a mandate that needs to go away so that Pirelli are able to produce the best tyres they are able to.

    Regardless of the reason the tyres have simply not been upto F1 standards the past 9 years & if Pirelli/F1 think they have been then it just shows how far this once great pinnacle of the sport has fallen. 15-20+ years ago these tyres would have been laughed out of the building rather than blindly accepted. But I guess commercial deals & artificial show gimmicks are more important than sport now.

    1. I couldn’t disagree more.

      Tyres are the same for everyone and Pirelli have produced 10’s of thousands of them in their time in F1. Very few have failed due to design or construction flaws. Quite possibly a lower percentage than those of previous/other F1 tyre suppliers.

      The tyres as as much a component of the car as anything else – the only difference is that the teams can’t develop their own. They need to learn how to use them within certain limits, and the team that does that best tends to win a lot more races and championships than those who don’t learn how to use them well.

      1. ^^^The most intelligent comment on the Pirelli tyre issue.

    2. What are “F1 standards”? Having a tire which you can run forever?

      That is a really weird idea. Nothing on a F1 car can be used forever. Mercedes had to change the MGU-K on Hamilton’s car on Friday, due to reliability concerns. So, is the Mercedes not up to “F1 standards”?

      Teams change parts due to reliability concerns, that is exactly how tires should be treated. If the teams choose to run the tires until they break, then it is the team’s choice. They don’t need any hand-holding by the FIA or Pirelli. But sadly, in our times they will get just that. Pirelli will mandate tire pressures and maximum laps. The sport will be stripped of the additional factor of teams being able to take risks with tire pressures and stint lengths.

      Tires failing have always been a part of motorsport and in some series it still is. But it seems that certain fans are so shocked by this, that we have to spare them from witnessing this in the future.

  13. How many laps did Pirelli say the Hard was good for?

    1. And for how many laps did the two Mercs drive around with rows of heavy blistering on the front left?

    2. I believe they say 45 laps, which is the real issue here. They misjudged how long the tire would last and the teams were operating under the assumption they were safe to the end with the SC.

      1. @hankscorpio83 I heard 40 laps but it would only be taken as outline relative guidance for comparison purposes by the teams since the absolute exact laps would be a function of car design or setup.

        Independent of any Pirelli lap guidance, the teams would do all their own analysis and come up with their own view from a diligence perspective. A good chunk of Friday practice is probably used for this very purpose. Coupling with previous year’s data they have, they will have a good idea of what is going on.

        Any team who takes the Pirelli number as gospel can’t complain if they run into trouble.

        1. Agreed. It’s ultimately up to the teams to determine what is acceptable risk. Pirelli can give an estimate and operating parameters, but the teams ultimately decide what to do, and 8 cars did 40 laps on the hards without a failure.

  14. This year’s pole time is nearly eight tenths faster than last year’s equivalent, not 1.2 to be precise.
    1:24.303 vs 1:25.093, but faster nevertheless.

  15. The only way the tyres will get better is to have a tyre war like the early 2000s since competition will drive improvement.

    Downside is that you will get tyre manufacturers developing their products specific to certain F1 teams (like Ferrari & Bridgestone) and I can only imagine that the top teams will increase their margin to the other teams. Although you could make the argument that the PU manufacturers make the PU for their chassis so it is just an extension of what already happens.

    To be fair to Pirelli, the stars did align with respect to the most extreme conditions possible so this should be a one-off. Whilst other tyres maybe have a better reputation in other series, this will not necessarily translate to the higher demands of F1.

  16. Wait– increasing the tire pressure on the tires on what’s expected to be one of the hottest weekends of the racing season?

    Isn’t that… What’s the word…. oh yeah… “Nuts”…?

    1. Increased pressures equal lower rolling resistance, less grip & less wear.

  17. So much hate on Pirelli. Left to their own devices, I don’t think there’s any question that Pirelli could produce a tire that would match soft compound times and last an entire race. But it’s not up to them, is it? Really bugs me to expect responsibility without providing authority.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      4th August 2020, 20:13

      I agree, people want so many things from a tyre. It has to be designed before the teams design their cars, it can’t run the whole race, it can’t have a sudden drop-of, it is not allowed to explode and it should indicate some time ahead that it might fail in a way that is clear to the driver and/or team……

      It’s all pirelli’s fault if anything is not met, even though teams show up with different parts every race.

      Not saying pirelli is perfect, but let’s be sensible.

  18. Except that Pirelli are simply making excuses and talking rubbish here.

    The 2019 pole position time was 1:25:093, whilst the fastest lap of the race was 1:27:369. In 2020, pole position was 1:24:303, whilst the fastest race lap was 1:27:097.

    As is obvious, the 2020 increase in time was only for qualifying, rather than for race pace. In fact, the fastest race lap in 2019 done by Hamilton, is almost identical to the fastest race lap of 2020 done by Verstappen (1:27:369 vs 1:27:097).

    And despite Lewis doing that 2019 fastest race lap on tires that were 30 laps old, as opposed to Verstappen who did his in 2020 on tires 1 lap old, there were no deflations or delaminations in 2019.

    So what “biggest forces ever generated” is Pirelli talking about?

    Pirelli are simply incompetent. Their tires have been consistently inconsistent, and their tire wear predictions have been off more times than i can remember.

  19. @kbdavies Good point. The faster pole time doesn’t really mean anything for the “highest forces during the race“. It’s clear that Mercedes have found something to turn up their engine even more for Q3, but in the race they are not that much faster than last year.

    If you look at the actual lap times, Hamilton was actually going a lot faster in 2019. He was 10 seconds faster from lap 24 to 47. From lap 47, Hamilton slowed down by about 2 seconds a lap in 2020. So he wasn’t even racing at speed anymore from 5 laps before the end.

    Sure they stopped earlier in 2020 (lap 13 versus lap 20 in 2019), but there was an extensive safety car situation and they didn’t start racing until lap 19.

    Basically Hamilton did a 29 lap stint at full speed from lap 19 to 47 in 2020 and also a 29 lap stint in 2019 but then from lap 24 to 52. In 2019 he was actually 17.6 seconds faster in total over that 29 lap stint!

    Hamilton also did a 1:27.369 at the end of that stint in 2019 versus a fastest lap of 1:29.238 in 2020. 2 seconds slower!

    So the “Highest forces ever” would have been recorded in 2019 really.

  20. I love how several people are trying to come up with all manner of excuses to make out that this entirely Pirelli’s fault.

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