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2013-07-02 07:58

TYRE FIASCO HITS F1: Pirelli is still taking flack for five incidents of exploding tyres during the 2013 British Grand Prix. Image: AFP


SILVERSTONE, England - The owners of Silverstone racetrack hit back at suggestions that the circuit's kerbs could be to blame for explosive tyre-failures during 2013 British Formula 1 GP.

Derek Warwick president of the British Racing Drivers' Club said he had been out to look at the kerbs and dismissed reports that sharp edges might have cut the tyres' sidewalls as "absolute rubbish".


Warwick, a former F1 driver whose brother Paul was killed in a racing accident in 1991, told Sky Sports TV: "These kerbs have been here since 2009. We've had thousands and thousands of cars go over these kerbs and they have been absolutely fine.

"We've had them checked by the International Automobile Federation and they comply completely."

As a safety debate raged, with talk of a possible driver boycott of the next race in Germany, the Briton said the Silverstone race during which strips of tread containing metal belts flew off the tyres and narrowly missed the heads of following drivers had at one stage looked like a disaster in the making.

Warwick said: "We need to make sure it's a good race here at Silverstone to bring the crowds back for 2014 so to say I was panicking would be an under-statement."


He pointed at Pirelli, the three teams who prevented the supplier from introducing a stronger version of the tyres for the race at Silverstone, and the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Warwick said: "I think Bernie, the federation and Pirelli are bringing the sport into disrepute and they need to have a serious look at themselves and change these tyres and not expect all the teams to agree."

"Take it out of the teams' hands and put safe tyres on these cars."

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India have resisted moves to change the construction and compounds of the 2013 tyres, which other teams say are too quick-wearing and not hard enough, because their cars are working well with them.

Warwick said: "They (the teams) made the decision not to bring a new tyre. I kind of blame Pirelli but they did their best to bring a new tyre to Silverstone and three teams voted against it."


The Pirelli tyres have come in for considerable criticism during the 2013 season, with drivers also complaining that they have to pace themselves to make them last rather than racing flat-out.

Pirelli has pointed out that it is merely doing it was asked to improve the show, providing tyres that encourage overtaking and force more pit stops. When they tried to change them, they were prevented from doing so.

The tyre supplier has also chafed at the sporting regulations which ban teams from track-testing during the season and using their current cars to test with Pirelli.

Pirelli was reprimanded by the federation in June 2013 for carrying out a tyre test with Mercedes in Spain.

Warwick, who played down talk of a possible driver boycott threatening the 2013 German GP on July 07, said the Italian company made good tyres but had not lived up to expectations.

Warwick said: "Pirelli and Formula 1 need to have a really good look at themselves and make sure that we have tyres that drivers can drive flat out all the time."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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