Official tyre manufactures for Formula 1 cars, Pirelli, has come out and admitted that they believe for next season, the tyres used should be wider than the ones currently in use due to safety reasons. Pirelli have already been in the news and firing line this season as their tyres kept failing on drivers, especially at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone when 6 drivers suffered tyre failures. Lewis Hamilton was one of those drivers who complained about the tyres after losing pole position at Silverstone and dropping down the race order.
This sparked something in the drivers as many had to retire from races due to dangerous tyres leading to there being a threat of the drivers boycotting the German Grand Prix. The plan was if the Pirelli tyres got punctured or simply failed in the practice runs, then the drivers were going to miss the German Grand Prix and refuse to drive. Nevertheless, Pirelli managed to put together a new set of wheels for the German Grand Prix which seemed safe and secure, meaning the drivers’ threat of boycotting never fell through.
Pirelli has changed their tyres ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, which had just taken place this weekend. The tyre manufactures reinforced the tyre with a material called Kevlar, which is more flexible and strong than the original tyres, therefore they won’t be ripped, cut or punctured as easily. With these new tyres on the Formula 1 cars, the driver who arguably complained the most, Lewis Hamilton, managed to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for his first triumph with Mercedes and first of the year.
Pirelli claims that the tyres need to be wider due to the fact that the new 1.6-litre turbo engines, which will be introduced next year, will wear them out more as the engine will produce more power. Pirelli have not yet confirmed that they will need to change the tyre, they have only hinted that it might need to be done due to the fact that each team are saying that the cars are going to be considerably faster next season compared to now.
Due to the tyre company saying it could affect the safety of the drivers, the FIA were forced to agree to change the tyre again. However, 10 out of the 11 teams wanted against the tyre changes and said they were happy with the current tyre. The only team who were open to tyre changes were Lewis Hamilton’s team, Mercedes. Pirelli plan to make the tyre 20 mm wider to make them 400 mm wide, and the diameter to increase from 660mm to 690mm.
Author Daniel Foster
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