Pirelli Between A Rock And A Hard Place
Pirelli announced softer compounds would be used for the Baku Grand Prix and look at the results. This would favor Red Bull as everyone knows Mercedes performs better on harder compounds. This is the FIA meddling as they are desperate for a new winner of the world championship.
The tyre failures or blowouts were bound to happen and it was just a matter of when. Personally I don't just blame Pirelli, but the FIA has to also take some accountability. When is this madness going to end as they could end up killing someone when they are supposed to be in charge of safety.
Every team was ordered to change tyres for safety reasons when the race was stopped on lap 48 when Verstappen's tyre failed causing him to crash.
The biggest problem for Formula One and the FIA is not the tyres but how they are trying to stop Mercedes dominance. Mercedes have won the last 7 Championships by a huge distance with no rival teams challenging them. These results are great for Mercedes but in some ways are affecting the sport. When one team is so dominant it makes it more difficult to market the sport to advertisers and fans. This is all about the money and nothing else and being able to sell the package.
No vibrations recorded on the team data suggests this is tyre failure and no puncture. Will Pirelli release the test
The FIA has been changing things to try and stop the Mercedes dominance with little to no effect. Budgets were reduced but how effective would that be as Mercedes through Toto Wolff are years ahead of their rivals with the high tech systems they already have. His portfolio of companies where he is a shareholder/investor are gaming and high tech so this is not a coincidence to see Mercedes leading the tech battle.
This year the FIA spun the idea of why they reduced the downforce allowed on the cars stating it was for safety purposes. Pirelli announced that the tyre walls were under huge stresses due to cars not slowing down sufficiently in the corners. The idea to reduce the downforce in order to slow the cars down hasn't really materialized as the teams are finding other areas to increase the down force. Red Bull have clearly done this and one can clearly see this from the sparks flying of the floor plates when they touch the ground.
The tyre failures this weekend are all pointing to the tyre wall on the left back tyre which is very concerning for the teams. Street circuits are different to proper race tracks so this may not be an issues as Monaco and Baku have now both been completed for this season. Monaco is a far slower track than Baku so this is possibly why this never happened during that race.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“We need to clearly establish the facts behind the incidents involving Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen to fully understand what happened. What we can say for now is that there was also a cut found on Hamilton’s tyre and that it's the rear-right tyre that actually works harder than the rear-left here. No warnings or vibrations were detected and none of the other tyres of a similar age or older showed any signs of excess wear. So we can not exclude that the damage was caused by an external factor, although these things shouldn’t happen and we can understand the need for answers.”
Mercedes were known to have the best down force last year so removing that advantage would in theory make the racing more competitive. The tyre story must be a load of nonsense as the tyre walls could be made thicker if required.
The FIA has tasked Pirelli to produce a tyre that deteriorates faster once it gets to a certain point or as we call it the performance hits the wall. Once this occurs the drop off in performance would force the teams to change tyres which I agree would be great. They are obviously nowhere near that point and need to stop testing during races as this is dangerous.
Pirelli are having to come up with tyres that are not only safe, but also to make the racing more interesting. Next year we have the giant 18 inch tyres which should make a huge difference for safety reasons especially with the tyre wall issue.