TYRE PRESSURE WINS: Formula 1 drivers warned that hard tyre compounds would be dangerous for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP - now Pirelli has changed them. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - Formula 1's only tyre supplier, Pirelli, has changed its tyre compounds for the 2014 Brazilian GP after reassessing the state of new asphalt laid at Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit.
The original choice of hard and medium tyres was earlier criticised by Brazilian driver Felipe Massa as potentially dangerous.
The tyremaker, however, said the decision to switch to medium and soft was prompted by recent resurfacing and agreed to the swop during a meeting of the sport's working group on tyres.
NO MORE FOR 2014
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery explained: "We've always said that we would be open to any changes if they were required. After further technical analysis of the effect of the new circuit surface, together with a risk assessment suggesting a low probability of compound overheating due to extreme track temperatures, we have made this change with the unanimous agreement of all 11 teams."
The decision means the hard tyres, last used during the wet 2014 Japanese GP at Suzuka that ended with Frenchman Jules Bianchi's horrific crash, will not be seen again this season.
Massa, who shares his manager with Bianchi and is a friend of the critically injured Marussia driver, had expressed concern about using the hard tyres in Brazil where conditions can also be cold and wet at this time of year.
"Dangerous, very dangerous," he told reporters at the Russian GP in Sochi, explaining that the hard tyres might not provide enough grip in certain circumstances.
"I have no idea why they chose medium and hard and it's completely unacceptable."