F1: Pirelli defend tyres amid more criticism from drivers including Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber

Manufacturer insist they are simply providing what was asked of them

Having changed their tyres after the series of explosive failures that were a feature of the British GP in July, Pirelli found themselves under fire again in Sunday’s race in Korea.

As Sebastian Vettel scored his fourth consecutive victory, McLaren’s Sergio Perez suffered a front tyre failure that brought out the safety car so that the debris could be cleared up. And after he picked up a puncture himself as a result, Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber lambasted the Italian company’s philosophy.

“The drivers aren't super important – it’s what other people want," Webber said, having made a fiery exit from the race after being hit by Adrian Sutil’s Force India which punctured his Red Bull’s oil radiator and caused a blaze that destroyed his car. "The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit - but that is for Pirelli to sort out."

The tyre manufacturer brought its medium and supersoft compound tyres to the race, and the latter were marginal given the stresses involved, particularly on the right front tyre. It was that one which failed on Perez’s car.

"Pirelli will put the puncture of Perez down to a lock-up, but the reason the drivers are locking up is because there's no tread left," Webber said.

Pirelli were also criticised by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso which led to some exchanges on Saturday. In one, Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembrey suggested that the Spaniard should consult Vettel, “to ask the soon-to-be four-times champion how to get the best from the same tyres." Hembery later apologised. But he defended Pirelli’s aggressive tyre choice, and reiterated that the company have been producing exactly what they have always been asked by the teams to produce: tyres that degrade quickly in order to make sure that the show put on for the public remains interesting. He suggested that instead of blaming Pirelli, the drivers should discuss the matter with their teams who made the request for high-degradation tyres in the first place.

"Their frustrations are no different to Michael Schumacher's last year,” he said. "It is maybe a different input if you are having to manage the tyres and you don't want to do it. Then you have a different point of view. And there is nothing wrong with a different point of view. It’s just not what we've been asked to do at the time.

"If we had been asked to make tyres that didn’t degrade because nobody wanted pit stops, then that’s what we would have done. As it is, we just did what we were asked to do."

Hembrey said that Perez’s problem was a result of very heavy braking which caused the tyre to lock up momentarily.

"From the telemetry it was a big flat spot," he said. "That put a huge hole right the way through the tread block, which then failed. There is not a lot we can do about that one."

Pirelli will be taking their medium and hard-compound tyres to the high-speed Suzuka circuit for next weekend’s Japanese GP.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most