British GP tyre drama: Adrian Newey blames 'short-sighted' F1 teams

Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey has attacked the 'short-sightedness' of the teams that blocked Pirelli's recent attempt to change the tyres for the crisis Formula 1 is now facing

British GP tyre drama: Adrian Newey blames 'short-sighted' F1 teams

Pirelli had hoped to change the internal structure of its tyres from a steel belt to one made of Kevlar from the Canadian Grand Prix to try and eradicate the delamination issues that occurred in the opening few races.

But Force India, Lotus and Ferrari were reluctant to accept the modification, which needed unanimous approval, amid concerns that the change to the tyres could affect their competitiveness.

The block on using the Kevlar belt meant Pirelli abandoned a push for the new tyres and instead tweaked the bonding process of the steel version.

That move proved unsatisfactory, with the British Grand Prix overshadowed by tyre blow-outs that have left Pirelli scrabbling to find a solution before this weekend's race in Germany.

Newey, whose team found damage to the tyres of Sebastian Vettel during a pitstop, has no doubts that the block on Pirelli's planned changes was to blame.

"It's a sad state of affairs but such is the nature of Formula 1, really," said Newey, when asked by AUTOSPORT for his views on the background to the affair.

"It's been fairly clear that there's been a number of worrying tyre failures through the year.

"Pirelli came up with a solution for that, with a different construction, and that was being offered initially for Montreal.

"But two or three teams vetoed that because they were worried it would suit some other teams more than it would suit them.

"As a result of that short-sightedness, Formula 1 ended up putting up the worrying performance it did [at Silverstone] and concerns about driver safety."

NEWEY SURE PLANNED CHANGES WOULD HAVE WORKED

Although Pirelli is still awaiting the results of an internal investigation into what exactly caused the Silverstone failures, Newey said initial feedback was that the tyre problems would not have occurred in the manner they did if the Kevlar-belt versions had been in place.

"It's really one for Pirelli, but from what I understand of it, had we gone with the different construction we wouldn't have had the sort of catastrophic failures we had today," he said.

Newey echoed the views of drivers and team principals that the issue was a serious one for F1, and said that action had to be taken.

"It's a concern for the whole paddock, primarily from a safety point of view, but then also if the championship ends up being decided by random tyre failures then it wouldn't be a very satisfying championship," he said.

"Safety wise, there are two issues: there's the car that has the failure having an accident. But also you have three kilos of tread flying around and if that hits the following car in the helmet it doesn't bear thinking about.

"I will be very disappointed if, after this, there continues to be no action."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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