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SBD Global/July 3, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Pirelli Strengthens Tires For Nürburgring Race After Blowouts At British F1 Grand Prix

Bernie Ecclestone said he will attend the German Grand Prix.
Pirelli "will strengthen its tyres ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix to try to avoid a repeat of the six blowouts seen at Silverstone," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. The rear tires' internal belt "will be made of Kevlar at the Nürburgring this weekend rather than the usual steel." For the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, Pirelli "will revert to its 2012 construction, which is different to that used this year." The aim is to make tires "more resistant to cuts and punctures." Pirelli Motorsports Dir Paul Hembery said an investigation was under way to find the cause "as soon as possible ahead of the next grand prix." Only the rear tires "are changing for this weekend's race in Germany, the fronts will remain the same as they have been all season" (BBC, 7/2). In London, Kevin Garside reported Pirelli is expected to recommend the revised tires 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 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" (INDEPENDENT, 7/2).

ECCLESTONE TO GERMANY: Also in London, Kevin Eason reported F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "will travel to the German Grand Prix to head off the threat of rebellion among Formula One’s teams and drivers even though he risks facing a damaging legal action." Ecclestone "still has the prospect of bribery charges hanging over him." The 82-year-old said that he "does not fear travelling to the Nürburgring and is anxious to make sure the race goes ahead safely without a repeat of the exploding Pirelli tyres that almost marred the British Grand Prix at the weekend." Ecclestone said, "I will definitely be going to Germany. I just hope I will be coming back" (LONDON TIMES, 7/2).

PIRELLI BLAMES TEAMS: In London, Ian Parkes wrote the tiremaker "has risked incurring the wrath of Formula One's teams by claiming they are primarily to blame for the high-speed tyre explosions." Pirelli said that after "exhaustive analysis" of the Silverstone failures that occurred at Silverstone, its tires "are safe, if used correctly." Pirelli said that there are four factors behind the failures: "the incorrect reverse mounting of the rear tyres; adoption by the teams of too-low pressures; extreme camber settings; and aggressive kerbing at Silverstone." Pirelli claims that its rear tires "are not designed to be interchangeable," and under-inflation and extreme cambers "can be dangerous under certain circumstances" (INDEPENDENT, 7/2).
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