Pirelli refuses to point the finger

by Jun 18, 20210 comments


We’re not sure if Agatha Christie has been cancelled yet – not doubt her time will come – but anyone expecting an “and the guilty party is…” style revelation as all the leading parties gathered in the Paul Ricard drawing room – sorry, paddock – yesterday, was to be left disappointed.

Sure, Pirelli’s Mario Isola did a great job in summing up The Case of the Suspect Tyre Pressures, but he was unable – or unwilling – to name the chief suspect(s).

However, the Italian went out of his way to make clear that Pirelli is unequivocally certain that neither Red Bull or Aston Martin had done anything wrong.

“At the beginning the idea was there was some debris cutting the construction,” he said, “because obviously we had the evidence of other tyres with some cuts on the tread.

“But then when we finalised the investigation, we found that the failure was not related to the cuts that we found not only on Lewis’ tyre, but also on one tyre from Sebastian. Those cuts were due to debris for sure, but the debris was not sharp enough to cut the construction.

“What happened in Baku is simply that the running conditions expected were different compared to the actual running conditions, and that created the failures,” he admitted.

“The failures were a circumferential cut on the inside shoulder,” he confirmed. “When you have a lot of energy going through the tyres, with the pressure that is lower compared to the expectation, the result is that on the side wall, you have what we call standing waves and standing waves are putting a lot of energy into the shoulder of the tyre and at a certain point the tyre failed, and that is what happened and the reason why we had this situation in Baku.

“In this case, we didn’t achieve the conditions not because teams were doing something against the regulations,” he insisted, “but because they were looking, as usual, for performance, and that created a different scenario compared to what we were expecting.

“We didn’t say that the teams did something that is not permitted in the regulations,” he emphasised.

While Max Verstappen insisted that his team wasn’t to blame, Lewis Hamilton leapt to the defence of Pirelli, indeed, as is so often the case, opinion was fully divided.

So it would appear that in fact, once again, it is the rules – and how they are enforced – that is to blame, and absolutely no blame whatsoever can be laid at the door of anyone who seeks to circumvent them, even if, as was the case in Baku, they risk the safety of their drivers.

Consequently, the guilty party remains on the loose and free to commit further crimes, technical directives willing.


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