Teams contradict Pirelli

Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

Sebastian Vettel is known to offer his uncensored opinion occasionally and dropping an f-bomb is not exactly unheard of either, but the way he ranted on TV, especially in his native language on Sky Germany and RTL was unprecedented.

Following Pirelli’s advisory that the medium tyre compound had a maximum lifespan of forty laps, which amounts to almost an entire race distance at Spa-Franchorchamps, Ferrari had opted for a one-stop strategy as their primary strategy for the race, which was why Vettel ran longer than most of his competitors on the initial set of options. When Vettel switched to primes at the end of lap 14, the set of primes would have to do 28 laps, more than 25% less than what Pirelli had deemed it capable of.

The rest, as they say, is history. The right rear tyre, the same as on Rosberg’s car on Friday, blew just after Eau Rouge. Auto Motor and Sport reports that Vettel stalked past Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, growling at him: “Your tyres are a catastrophe.”

Hembery was quick to dismiss Vettel’s comments as post-race emotionalism, but BBC reports that no less than three world champions – Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel – had voiced their concerns about the safety of Pirelli’s tyres in the driver briefing on Friday after Rosberg’s tyre blow-up. The worries were dismissed with the usual excuses of ‘external influence’, which the drivers had to accept, but obviously didn’t believe, as Vettel explained unmistakably.

He is backed up by team members of Lotus and Force India, who refuse to believe Pirelli’s explanation of excessive tyre wear. “If Pirelli tells us the tyres last 40 laps, they can’t possibly blow up after 28 laps. For us a one-stop strategy was only a backup plan, but we considered it as well,” Lotus’ Alain Permane explained.

Force India’s Andy Green puts it a bit more directly. “If Vettel’s tyres had been worn out, he’d have come into the pits. As soon as the rubber is worn below 30% the lap times go up by two to three seconds and tyre temperatures drop from 140°C to 110°C. You’re driving on ice in that case, you won’t even get anywhere near critical wear. Your team would call you in long before that happens.”

The general suspicion is, that both tyre blowouts of Vettel and Rosberg could have been caused by a phenomenon called ‘standing waves’. Pirelli dismissed any accusations of structural problems, but teams disagreed, after Auto Motor & Sport published a picture of a tyre deforming abnormally on Vettels car on Friday.

Pirelli defended themselves, citing their suggestion of a two-stop race, but Ferrari’s Mauricio Arrivabene doesn’t agree with Pirelli’s accusation that Ferrari simply ran the tyre too long.

“A one-stop race was our plan A. We decided that at 11am, using the data the engineers had collected during the practice sessions. There was a Pirelli engineer standing in our garage and he wasn’t just chewing bubblegum. He would have intervened if the data had shown anything suspicious. Our strategy was aggressive, but not risky.”

It looks like Pirelli may have yet another PR disaster on their hands.

Advertisements

30 responses to “Teams contradict Pirelli

  1. It’s time for Michelin and Bridgestone to get back into F1 and give drivers an option. It is unacceptable but Pirreli won’t ever admit it so the only way for them to improve is with some competition. Remember, the same happened to Lewis too

  2. As always in these situations I have zero sympathy for teams.

    They moan if the tyres wear to fast, they moan if they wear to slow. They refuse to let Pirelli test with a modern car and they go out of their way not to help Pirelli in testing. What do teams seriously expect to happen given how Pirelli gets treated!

    F1 couldn’t happen without tyres yet the only reason Pirelli seem to be employed is to be a scapegoat. I wouldn’t go anywhere near F1 if I was a tyre supplier, fortunately the world seems full of gullible people.

      • You think a single day (per team) is adequate for the development of four different compounds intended to suit a wide variety of tracks and conditions? Pirelli have long made clear that they are unhappy without the amount of testing allocated to testing the tyres. It’s no surprise that the tyres occasionally fall short. The teams and the FIA need to get serious about this issue.

    • Are you saying the it is the teams that decide weather they want to test with Pirelli or not? I thought it’s an FIA restriction? Why are you blaming the teams?

      • Well I suppose we could also blame the FIA for letting the teams decide most of the rules these days. But as it stands if the teams don’t want to help Pirelli then more fool them.

        Are Pirelli still having to use a 2010 car to do their in house testing? All the teams still vetoing Pirelli using a more modern car? There would have been a 2014 Caterham going cheap recently but then you’d have people crying that the Renault teams would get an advantage.

        So yup, the teams come up with most the rules these days, they wanted Pirelii to build an artificial tyre that goes against sensible principles for tyre construction. They also have to do this with minimal testing for 20 odd different circuits with unknown weather, and for cars which are top secret.

        Lucky Pirelli!

  3. Lets just bring back Michelin. As Bernie says you would bolt on the tires at the season opener and take them off at the finale. The teams and Vettel seem to have a point/concern here. But this is no way to treat Pirelli – a company that helped spice up racing with degradable tires.

    These concerns can be addressed behind closed doors. F1 will drive away Pirelli and shoot itself in the foot – again!

    Vettel should concentrate on not qualifying 9th and being forced to an extreme strategy. Ok, ok thats harsh……

    • Arrivabene: “A one-stop race was our plan A. We decided that at 11am, using the data the engineers had collected during the practice sessions. There was a Pirelli engineer standing in our garage and he wasn’t just chewing bubblegum. He would have intervened if the data had shown anything suspicious. Our strategy was aggressive, but not risky.”

      How was Vettel forced to an extreme strategy? He had a good start and he was running with Grosjean and Ricciardo. Even if they were all on the same strategy, they would probably be fighting for the same spot on the podium. No need to go extreme there.

      • Regardless of what MA says, no way was a one stop their plan. They got stuck because they were covering Mercedes and failed to pit under the VSC, unlike most of their closest competitors including GRO who was AHEAD of VET. Crucially, given VET’s position when the VSC happened he would have emerged behind GRO but ahead of PER, with faster tyres to run to the end.

          • Because it was slower. Just look at the graph Vortex Motio tweeted comparing HAM GRO and VET lap times and you’ll see what I mean. Personally, I think the dropping temps fooled them as it reduced degradation, but not necessarily internal wear on the tyre.

            There were also other reports of unusual cut in tyres as well so make of that what you will, but personally, I can’t see Ferrari committing to anything but the fastest strategy. And Seb’s radio message around lap 28 would seem to indicate there was at least one more stop in the offing, though we certainly don’t get all of the traffic, tragically.

      • From Seb’s message to the team asking them to explore a different strategy midway through the race, it was clear that he didn’t think it possible to do one stopper.

  4. I agree with vettel. If his tires would have been past their life he wouldn’t been able to keep Grosjean behind him. I think for at least 5 laps Grosjean was in the 1 sec gap. He would have sailed passed him with the drs. But somehow vettel managed to stay in front. So his tires couldn’t been totally destroyed. And in the case of Rosberg you could see his tire destroy it self. Vettels just let go suddenly. And it was the side of the tire because after the initial blow it still has air in it. And the wall of the tire isn’t really the part that is worn out by driving a couple of laps more than the rest of the field… so this is a Pirelli problem. Not a ferrari problem.

  5. I’m sure TJ13 will somehow ignore this and still eventually call for softer less durable tyres and more pit stops as means to making races more exciting. And then defend Pirelli for doing only what was asked of them no matter how poor the racing is or how many failures happen.

    Back in the real world, there still is the possibility this was caused by Vettel’s constantly going off the track and/or over kerbs to gain time. But tyres shouldn’t so easily be subject of instant catastrophic failures and explosions.

    I wonder if this will have any infuence over whomever gets the next tyre supply contract. And how much more criticism can Pirelli take?

    • Yeah all of them go over the kerbs all of the time. It’s just easy to say from Pirelli yeah our tires last 40 laps here. And than when they don’t do that say ofcourse they can’t do that if you do this and that. If your going to give an estimate, give one that’s lower… safety margins. Now I’m no Pirelli specialist but at my job if I can use a tool to make 40 pieces and it destroyed itself at the next one my counter for the next tool would say 39. Not 40 and not 41.

  6. Vettel’s tyre didn’t just wear out, you can see on the replay that the outer shell just went away and for a split second the tire without its shell was still inflated until it disintegrated. Excitement is all good and that, but listen to Vettel, what if that happened in a corner where he is about to be overtaken? Do we really need another life threatening incident to see this is unacceptable from a safety point of view? Pirelli said 40 laps, they need to communicate clearly for teams to have trust in them. Something needs to be done, whether it’s more testing but have a think if we want to see a serious accident due to tyres as part of excitement? I don’t

  7. Alain Permane (Lotus): “If Pirelli tells us the tyres last 40 laps, they can’t possibly blow up after 28 laps. For us a one-stop strategy was only a backup plan, but we considered it as well.”

    Andy Green (Force India): “If Vettel’s tyres had been worn out, he’d have come into the pits. As soon as the rubber is worn below 30% the lap times go up by two to three seconds and tyre temperatures drop from 140°C to 110°C. You’re driving on ice in that case, you won’t even get anywhere near critical wear. Your team would call you in long before that happens.”

    Maurizio Arrivabene (Ferrari): “A one-stop race was our plan A. We decided that at 11am, using the data the engineers had collected during the practice sessions. There was a Pirelli engineer standing in our garage and he wasn’t just chewing bubblegum. He would have intervened if the data had shown anything suspicious. Our strategy was aggressive, but not risky.”

  8. Pffft. How many times did we watch Vettel run off the track in various parts of the circuit? How many stones did he drag onto the track at the top of the straight? It’s a bit rich to be angry at Pirelli when you’re clearly overdriving the track limits.

    • What does his driving have anything to do with tyre suddenly blowing off due to “tyre wear” without his tyres getting really worn out??? Pirelli guy said it was “tyre wear” without any examination whatsoever. If his tyres were worn out, his lap times would have been 2 secs slower than what he was doing. Even if tyre was weakened sufficiently enough for an impact to blow it up, it still shouldn’t blow up. And consider what happened to Rosberg after 10 laps. Imo there might be a structural integrity issue. Lotus said they expect tyres to go for 40 laps if they are said 40 laps. Force India said Vettel didn’t have excessive tyre wear.

      • It has everything to do.

        Vettel consistently went off the tarmac over the kerbs at Eau Rouge for 40 laps at above 300km/h, 28 of them with a set of tires that finally did not resist the abuse.

        Do you really think that driving flat out 28 times through 10 meters of kerbs at above 300km just in the clipping point (where the load transfers in the case are maximum) have no effect on the durability of a tire? Are the involved forces the same that if you drive on the tarmac?

        Next time, he should stay on the black or lower the number of laps of his estimation. He should blame his driving or his team for the strategy and stop pointing fingers at others. Or just accept that shit happens.

        • Do you even get what I’m saying? It doesn’t matter. Tyres shouldn’t explode like that before even the rubber is gone. They hit the cliff with 30% of the rubber on canvas. He was well above that point. It should be durable enough not to explode like that. Not to mention a ridiculous statement like “40 laps” if you don’t have the confidence or the data to back that up.
          It’s also really weird people keep talking Vettel going off the track like that’s something only he did. He had to do more laps on the same tyres, so of course he should be more careful in any case. But they didn’t even show him on screen that much, and Grosjean was following him on the edge of the track. Also it doesn’t even matter as you cannot say 40 laps thinking drivers won’t be going over the curbs and off the white lines on the track.

          • “He had to do more laps on the same tyres, so of course he should be more careful in any case. ”

            Exactly!! I highly doubt the cause was “tyre wear” in the normal sense of the term. In this case the “tyre wear” may have been on a specific isolated part of the right rear tyre due to how Vettel was driving it for over half the race.

  9. The standing waves theory sounds interesting.

    However, the photo is of the left rear tire exiting Eau Rouge, but it was two right rear tires which failed. The left side is more heavily loaded there, so that leads to the question is the right rear tire experiencing standing waves, and if so, on what part of the circuit?

    If there is a problem, then we could expect more hard info to come out because the pressures and temps are monitored in live time by the teams.

    Standing waves phenomenon can cause a quick structural failure of a tire in some cases because of the additional heat that is generated. However, some tires, such as drag racing tires are designed to withstand standing waves, (that may be the case with these tires also). It’s possible that standing waves isn’t relative to either failure.

    Vettel’s emotional tantrum is entertaining of course, but it’s an engineering issue. More info is likely forthcoming. Pirelli appears to be in PR shutdown after the race, beyond Hembery’s trackside post-race comments.

  10. Pirelli statement
    http://f1pressarea.pirelli.com/wp-content/files/pdf/26927.pdf?utm_source=tw-pirellisport&utm_medium=social&utm_content=post&utm_campaign=editoriale2015

    PIRELLI: OUR REQUEST OF TWO YEARS AGO TO FIX A MAXIMUM LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF LAPS THAT CAN BE RUN WITH THE SAME TYRES WAS NOT LISTENED TO

    Spa Francorchamps, 23 August 2015

    Regarding what happened today at the Belgian Grand Prix, Pirelli underlines that :
    In November 2013, Pirelli requested that there should be rules to govern the maximum number of laps that can be driven on the same set of tyres, among other parameters to do with correct tyre usage. This request was not accepted. The proposal put forward a maximum distance equivalent to 50% of the grand prix distance for the prime tyre and 30% for the option.
    These conditions, if applied today at Spa, would have limited the maximum number of laps on the medium compound to 22

    • I’m still not sure what this has to do with the price of chips, if Pirelli, know that tyres will have to run more than 50% race distance for the last 2 years, then this is a mute argument. And Ferrari had with the blessing of a Pirelli engineer gone for a one stop strategy, someone, somewhere was little incompetent.

  11. I don’t know.. maybe during practice Vettel wasn’t going two feet wide over the curbs?

  12. Pingback: 2015 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX: RACE *** SPOILERS *** - Page 26 - FerrariChat.com·

Leave a Reply