Some pit crews are reluctant to handle latest tyres
F1’s Bernie Ecclestone sounded cautiously optimistic after introducing a ‘random explosives’ feature at the Korean GP.
“Unfortunately, by mistake, the BBC had showed a short extract of MOTO GP on their F1 preview show. It was on for less than one complete lap but by then it was too late and our core audience had already seen more action than they expect in a whole season of F1.
The sponsors were naturally a little concerned and so, as an emergency ‘fix’, we agreed to deploy a number of small, secret incendiary devices on various cars to spice things up. All things considered it went quite well and we’ll definitely do it again.”
Nico Rosberg was the first ‘hit’ when his front wing disappeared in a spectacular shower of sparks. Sergio Perez then had a rather spectacular exploding tyre which, as an unexpected bonus damaged several other cars. This was closely followed by a fire in the mechanical gubbins of Mark Webber’s Red Bull.
About to explode?
Pirelli have blamed the series of tyre failures at the weekend’s British Grand Prix on the way F1 teams are using the tyres, most notably that they are “putting them onto racing cars and driving on them, sometimes really fast”.
The Italian company has modified the tyres for future races but say that teams need to take their share of responsibility and review the way that they are using them, maybe considering not driving so fast or for so long.
“In tests we have found the tyres to be perfectly safe if stored in a neat pile at room temperature. In these conditions very few of them spontaneously explode.” said a statement from Pirelli.
Staying awake will be just one of the challenges
Following a disasterous number of blow-outs during this weekend’s British Grand Prix, engineers at Pirelli are urging the FIA to avoid tight corners until they can work out how to make tyres.
“From reviewing the footage of Hamilton’s tyre failure, we were able to ascertain that he was driving quite fast”, explained Pirelli’s marketing chief Lorenzo Capellini. “And to be honest, anyone trying to go round a corner like that is definitely asking for trouble.”
With speed and cornering both identified as culprits, Pirelli think they’re close to finding a solution. Computer simulations have shown that either a very slow race or one in a fairly straight line would be reasonably safe, as long as they change tyres every three or four miles.