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GP Week : Issue 226
Sebastian Vettel was scathing of Pirelli after a tyre failure on the penultimate lap cost him a chance of a podium. Vettel had elected for a one-stop strategy, fitting the medium compound tyres on lap 14 before running to the finish. It saw the German in third place, under pressure from Romain Grosjean, late on. However on lap 42, shortly after exiting Eau Rouge, Vettel's right rear tyre cried enough as it delaminated on the Kemmel Straight. "If it happened 200 metres earlier, I am not standing here now," a furious Vettel told the BBC. " Things like that are not allowed to happen, full stop." It was the second tyre failure of the weeked after Nico Rosberg suffered a similar incident during Friday practice. After investigating Rosberg's failure, Pirelli was unable to draw a conclusive outcome beyond stating the tyre was cut by something on track earlier in the lap. By contrast, according to Pirelli boss Paul Hembery, Vettel's failure was simply that the tyre had reached the end of its life. "It was at the end of wear life," Hembery asserted. "Any tyre in the world, when it gets to the end of its wear-life, you're going to have a problem. "He'd done 28 laps. We thought the strategy would be based on two or three stops, as the majority did, but they clearly felt they could make it work with one stop. They obviously felt that was feasible. "Wear life was indicated at around 40 laps, but it's an indication and race conditions can change that, and some factors involved in racing mean that sometimes it's not a precise datum. Other teams were taking a different direction," Hembery added. "If the race was one lap less, he'd be on the podium and we'd be calling it a genius move, sometimes the margins are very fine," he surmised. "It's tough, but he's a driver, he's been out there and he's frustrated that he's only one lap away from getting a result. So I'm not going to criticise him for that." Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene however remained defiant. "When we do the strategy, the strategy was absolutely right – the one stop. I want to clear that up. When we do the strategy we do the data and the data is based on the strategy. "Normally, the strategy – even if it is aggressive - it is based on clear data that you have," he added. "You are not so stupid or so crazy to take a risk for the driver if you are not reading quite well the data." "I don't want to start with this story going back and for wards: Maurizio said about Pirelli, Pirelli said about Ferrari etc. No. "The race is gone and I understand the reason why, as you understand, Seb was disappointed. "That is it. I don't want to open any kind of fight because it is not the case." Pirelli later issued a statement reasserting the fact it had asked for limits to be placed on tyre use as far back as 2013, suggestions which were not accepted. 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BELGIUM PARTNERS: Vettel blows up at Pirelli