Pirelli responds to Belgian GP incident

Pirelli have responded to the criticisms Over the tire failure on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari on the penultimate lap of the Belgian Grand Prix. 

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.

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Paul KieferJr

I’m not sure that this would have made any sort of sense or difference.


Thinking of Justin Wilson now, closed cockpits must surely be coming soon.


I agree. It’s getting to the point where its getting hard to ignore.

Tim C

If I were Pirelli, I’d have to seriously consider whether or not I wanted to continue participation in F1. They have produced the type of tire they were asked to produce and they constantly get criticized because of it. If Pirelli were asked to make a rock hard tire that would last the entire race distance, they could certainly do so. If they were asked to make a tire that would only last a couple of laps they could do that as well. Pirelli have a lot of smart individuals on it’s payroll and are a world class company. The… Read more »


Vettel was partly to blame. He was cutting corners like a mad man, having that much lateral load on a tire and then running it over a curb at top speed it’s no wonder he had a failure.

That said it was a very dangerous incident that could’ve ended very differently. Driver need to have confidence in their equipment to be able to put on good racing.

Negative Camber

I’m not sure. Pirelli know the curb-clipping effect on tires and most drivers were taking a lot of curb…especially at Eau Rogue. What will be interesting for me is if Pirelli determine that Ferrari were using the tire beyond a camber recommendation or pressure setting. That would make more sense but if they were within Pirelli’s parameters, running 28 laps shouldn’t be an explosion. Wear rates would have had his times dropping off significantly and that wasn’t the case.


Don’t get me wrong I know that a tire shouldn’t explode like that because it’s dangerous to the driver and those are him, but aggressive curb cutting would only serve to exaggerate a problem.

No, Pirelli certainly has some explaining to do. But like I said in the other thread the FIA needs to step in and relax the testing ban for Pirelli so they can come up with a safe product.


Pirelli answered this by saying the 40 lap figure could vary greatly based on track conditions and characteristics, and the 28 lap failure was not a suprise. Considering nobody else tried it, that does not come as a shock to me.

Sour grapes. If they had been on the podium we would all be suprised and call it an inspired call, so a risky strategy backfiring does not need to be treated as shocking.


I wonder if the intense elevation changes in Spa resulted in different wear characteristics which resulted in inner parts of the tyres wearing faster. This could potentially not show the usual degradation in performance that wearing the outer rubber layers would.


Good point Todd, its the tyre ‘tread’ that wears out, not the carcass.
I haven’t seen the race, but I assume others ran more than 28 laps on the other option tyre without failures?
There may be some manufacturing defects in these tyres, or Vettel and Rosberg have taken lines that found the sharp concrete edge. There are lots of reasons to move away from high degradation tyres, but I don’t think these incidents really relate to them.


This incident, while scary, is systemic of a larger issue. The FIA is the true culprit here. Asking a company to design a product with a built in failure point and then not allowing that company to test this product is just asking for trouble. Let Pirelli test with a current year spec car on all road conditions and they could provide you with a wealth of data.

We’d be having this conversation if it were Bridgestone, Michelin or who ever was making the tires.


Vettel and Ferrari apparently asked too much by running ~200 km ON ONE TIRE. That’s F1 needlessly making a fool of itself, once again. . At Le Mans, they easily do 700++ kms at full chat on one set of tires, in heavier cars and with roughly the same sort of power and torque. And btw they’re also using wheel sizes closer to most other performance cars instead of anachronistic trolley wheels. . That’s like allowing marathon runners to use the latest hitech shoes that can take anything over 42 km while requiring sprinters to, mid-sprint, change their shoes made… Read more »


Don’t forget that Pirelli were asked to make tyres that wouldn’t last for a whole race, so a 200km limit is about what they were asked to do.

I would much rather teams had the choice not to change tyres during the race, but apparently having overtaking limited to the track rather than passes in the pit lane is boring.


Yeah my post was about … that I don’t like that Pirelli WAS asked to do HD tires that NEED to be changed mid-sprint (let alone the rules requiring to do so even if it’s not necessary on a given day), so … yes, I know that Pirelli was asked to do HD tires, because that was what motivated the whole post in the first place. My fault if I failed to make that clear enough.