autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

McLaren didn't change set-up for tyres at Spa

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, SpaMartin Whitmarsh says his McLaren team decided there was no need for a camber change and that it could safely complete a stint on the blistered Pirelli tyres that Lewis Hamilton had to start the Belgian Grand Prix on.

Several leading drivers - including both Red Bull men and Hamilton - picked up blisters on the soft Pirellis in Q3 on Saturday, and there were concerns over whether it would be safe to start the race on them. But with Pirelli certain that the issue was being caused by teams running set-ups with cambers outside its recommendations, the FIA decided that the rules should be followed and the top 10 drivers use their qualifying rubber for the opening stint in the race.

Whitmarsh said that despite Hamilton's tyres clearly developing blisters in qualifying, McLaren did not feel any need to adjust its set-up.

"We discussed it and our chassis and tyre engineers reviewed it, and we believed that a camber change in our situation was not going to assist the situation and we believed that it was going to be safe," he said.

"We believe Red Bull had a bigger dilemma than that because their analysis led them to believe that a camber change would have been a safer thing to do. And they were put in a very uncomfortable situation I think. I will talk to Adrian [Newey] about it.

"I think other teams were quite adamant that we should not be allowed to replace the damaged tyres and we should not be allowed to have a camber change without undergoing the penalty of starting from the pitlane."

Asked if McLaren had gone beyond Pirelli's set-up recommendations, Whitmarsh replied: "No. We didn't and we don't. Ultimately we are responsible for the safety of these drivers and they reduced the camber coming here, as you may know. That was giving away some performance but it was the right thing to do as it turned out."

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali declined to comment on the Spa issue beyond underlining that his team followed Pirelli's recommendations.

"What I can say is that from our side we absolutely follow the instructions of Pirelli," he said. "If you follow the instructions of Pirelli, they are there to ensure the tyre is used in the best and the safest way possible. I heard a lot of discussion about this problem of blisters, but if you run, and this is something I don't know [about in the case of other teams], but if you run in a proper way then I think it is absolutely correct to follow what Pirelli's instructions are."

  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
RBR 'not comfortable' with tyre issue
Q & A with Pirelli's Paul Hembery
Pirelli guidelines to be more cautious
Pirelli: Red Bull to blame for blisters
Haymarket