Testing is designed to…well…test things. To find their strengths and weaknesses and to determine what, if anything, needs to be changed to produce a better product or service. That’s what Pirelli are doing in Bahrain this week with a few teams in Formula 1.
To those ends, the test had an incident that will sound familiar to those who watched the 2013 F1 season and in particular, the British Grand Prix. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg tweeted:
“Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight cause my tyre blew up without warning. Thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now…”
Rosberg soon deleted that tweet and let’s be honest, the poster child for PR was being a little out of character there. You would have expected something along the lines of, “Wow, had a blowout testing Pirelli’s awesome tire in Bahrain and glad that we could find the breaking point on a tire as good as this”.
For Pirelli’s part, they issued a statement to Sky Sports F1 saying:
“The test in Bahrain is a private tyre test, so most data generated from it are confidential,” the statement read. “However, incidents can happen, this is what testing is for. Our testing programme will continue as planned.”
They’re right, of course, this is what testing is for and it happens. Recall all those heady days of being the driver to run the first hot laps in a new car in winter testing. You’re taking a risk and every driver knows it. Testing tires surely is no different. The car suffered damage in the incident preventing further testing for Mercedes.
As for Rosberg’s tweet? Why delete it, it’s his personality and it would scare anyone to have a blowout at that speed. Pirelli know that and they know why they are testing. No one has a bloody nose over a funny tweet about a tire blowout folks. Chill.