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GP Week : Issue 182
Pirelli suffered yet another tyre failure at the Spanish Grand Prix when Paul di Resta’s left rear tyre delaminated in Friday’s practice session. Di Resta’s delamination, which occurred as he exited the high speed final corner onto the start- finish straight, is the fourth such tyre failures this season, and has led to further criticism for the tyre manufacturer whose fast-fading rubber has been unpopular with some of the teams. In Bahrain Pirelli suffered three tyre failures – one on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in practice and two on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari in the race. According to Pirelli, the three failures in Bahrain and di Resta’s Spanish delamination were down to debris cutting the rubber, but the tyre supplier conceded that something may have to be done to prevent such visibly dramatic failures. “[Di Resta’s incident was] similar to the failures of the other tyres we’ve seen this season,” Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery explained on Saturday. “When we made the move to putting high-tensile steel in the belt pack, when you get debris cutting the tyre it doesn't penetrate it. Instead the tread heats up and comes away. Last year it would probably have deflated on the rim and gone down immediately. So we've changed the mode of failure. You could argue it's safer because the tyre hasn't gone down.” However, Hembery said any modification to the tyres would have to take into account the fact that with no in-season testing teams cannot trial any changes to the rubber, while Pirelli would also have to be mindful of the impact any structural changes might have on the cars’ aerodynamics. In 2011, Pirelli replaced Bridgestone as Formula One’s sole tyre supplier and ushered in an era of fast-wearing rubber that prompted an increase in pit stops and kept team strategists on their toes, spicing up the racing and giving fans some unpredictable results However, this year the company has had to face a lot of heat from drivers and teams who have complained that the fragile 2013 tyres are forcing drivers to keep well within the limits of their cars and not allowing them to push, with the tyres spicing up the racing perhaps a little too much. F1 >>> NEWS NO RESTA FOR PIRELLI WITH ANOTHER ‘DI’-LAMINATION 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: