Formula 1’s plans to bring softer tyre compounds for next weekend’s second race at Silverstone may be reversed following the punctures which occured during yesterday’s British Grand Prix.Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jnr all suffered left-front tyre failures during the final four laps.
The FIA and Pirelli are investigating the causes of the failures. F1 race director Michael Masi said his initial impression was that the track itself was not to blame. “But let’s wait and see,” he added. “I would hate to speculate at the moment.”
Pirelli brought its hardest tyre selection, the C1, C2 and C3 compounds, for last weekends race. All three drivers who suffered punctures were using the hardest available rubber, C1, at the time.
Pirelli had nominated a softer mix of C2, C3 and C4 rubber for this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. But Masi is open to changing that if needed.
“The FIA and Pirelli are working together to understand what the cause was and we will go from there. Regarding next weekend’s event, if we need to we’ll make amendments.
However Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola doubts changing the tyre allocation will address the problem regardless of whether wear or debris caused the failures.
“Depending on which is the cause of the issue, we have to react appropriately,” he said. “But the reaction can be different.
“If we are talking about the wear, for example, it doesn’t matter if we go with the same compounds we used today or the softer compounds.
“Each tyre has a maximum number of laps [which] depends on each car. Each car is different: it depends on the set-up, the level of energy, the driving style, the conditions. So that’s why we cannot say that the limit is the same for everybody.
“But if the issue is the wear we don’t fix it with changing to the same compound choice we had today or moving into a softer one.
“If the issue was due to [debris] punctures, then obviously there is very little we can do, it is a matter of not having debris on track. If there are other issues that we have to understand and which are the issues in order to react in the proper way.
“But until we discover which was the issue it’s difficult to give feedback on what we can do.”
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