German Grand Prix: Pirelli to make immediate changes to rear tyres after Silverstone chaos

Tyre manufacturer acts to stop repeat of British GP which was overshadowed by a string of high-profile blowouts

Pirelli has announced a range of measures designed to ensure drivers' lives are not put at risk in the wake of Sunday's British Grand Prix debacle.

The Silverstone race was overshadowed by several high-speed blowouts, forcing the Italian tyre manufacturer to act swiftly to guarantee the safety of not just the drivers, but also fans and marshals.

For this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Pirelli is to use a belt made of Kevlar - a high-strength synthetic fibre which is more resistant to punctures - instead of steel on its rear tyres.

Later this month, from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards, Pirelli is to use a tyre that fuses the structure, construction and belt from last year with the current compounds from this season.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "What happened at Silverstone was completely unexpected and it was the first time that anything like this has ever occurred in more than a century of Pirelli in motorsport."

Sanity broke out in Formula One with the immediate sanction of two three-day tests to cure the tyre crisis that has blighted the season. But the shift in attitude has come too late to have any impact on Sunday’s German Grand Prix.

The sport has acted to repeal the ban on testing that has hampered progress all year. The commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, met with the FIA president, Jean Todt, after Sunday’s race to thrash out a way forward.

“They [Pirelli] have complained in the past when these tyres have delaminated. They’ve said they’d like to sort it out, but they don’t have a chance to do any testing because of these silly restrictions we have. But I spoke to Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said ‘let them test’. So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests to try to do something for next year, as well as this year, so that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” Ecclestone said, adding that, “they can use what they like [cars]. No restrictions. None at all.”

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez all suffered failures to the left-rear tyres and Esteban Gutierrez lost his front-left. “There could have been big accidents in the race, but we have to be careful and know exactly what went wrong before we say anything more,” Ecclestone added.

Ironically, on a weekend when an exploding tyre cost him a chance of victory, Lewis Hamilton believes that Mercedes made progress in solving the wider rubber issues that have held him back this season. Hamilton was in control at the front of the race before his tyre disintegrated and fought back through the field to finish fourth behind his winning team-mate Nico Rosberg raising hopes that he might yet mount a championship challenge to the leader Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

“I don’t think it would have been a problem [to win the race]. I had a lot of damage on my car at the end, on the floor and was losing a huge amount of downforce, so I was surprised that we still had that kind of pace. I have no doubts that we would have had a one-two,” Hamilton said.

“Aside from all the talk about the tyres there are massive positives to take away from the weekend. Nico won. We got some good points. I was grateful to come back and got some points back on Sebastian. We are improving. I really think we can be more competitive. I’m just trying to stay in the fight.

“I feel really good about my performance. It is just bad luck that your tyre blows when in the lead. Every time I passed people I could see the crowd supporting me. We just have the best fans here, and I’m grateful for the turnout we had. It would have been great to win for them but I still feel I did them proud.

“I’m sure at some point in the next few races my time will come. We were matching the Red Bulls. I don’t  think we have overtaken them, but closed the gap, maybe, in terms of  the tyres.”

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Pirelli are expected to recommend the revised tyres that were rejected when the teams could not agree on the use at Montreal last month. Force India, Lotus and Ferrari voted against their deployment at a meeting in Monaco, but safety issues have taken the decision out of the teams’ hands.

An alternative suggestion by the McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, is to revert to last year’s tyres, which did not present any of the flaws on show at Silverstone. A combination of track characteristics, kerbs and tyre pressures were thought to have been behind the Silverstone debacle. According to Mercedes’ team principal, Ross Brawn, the Nürburgring is unlikely to present Pirelli with such difficulties.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week