Pirelli should have been firmer over F1 tyre changes - Whitmarsh

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh believes that Pirelli should have been firmer and demanded it be allowed to change its tyres earlier this season

Pirelli should have been firmer over F1 tyre changes - Whitmarsh

Pirelli had hoped to revise its rears after the Spanish Grand Prix in the wake of a spate of delaminations early in the campaign.

However, its moves were blocked by Force India, Lotus and Ferrari because they feared it would affect their competitiveness.

But following a spate of blow outs at the British Grand Prix, those teams conceded that there were safety grounds for Pirelli to make changes.

Whitmarsh believes the way events panned out shows that Pirelli should have been tougher when it came to enforcing its belief that tyres needed to be improved.

"When you have made mistakes, and certainty we've made them over the years including this one, there is always a reluctance to admit them," explained Whitmarsh.

"There is always a fear of what the media will make it. But it was also clear to many that there were issues with the tyres.

"There was a reluctance to admit it - and teams will always lobby for their own competitive self-interest.

"As I said to Pirelli for quite a few weeks before Silverstone: 'You cannot listen to the teams on this one. You guys are the tyre experts; you have responsibility to give us safe tyres. You have to make the right call'.

"Pirelli got themselves a bit caught in the middle listening to the teams, especially those that didn't want anything to change."

Paul Hembery, Pirelli's motorsport director, agrees with Whitmarsh's view that his company could have pushed harder.

When asked if he felt Pirelli should have shouted more for changes when the delamination issue first came up, he said: "Probably.

"I think sometimes we have been too good citizens trying to do everything right, and every time we try and push something we get into trouble.

"We are only interested in doing our job; we are not interested in helping anyone else."

Whitmarsh thinks the fact that the grid order was relatively unchanged at Silverstone showed that teams' concern of a big fluctuation in form were unfounded - which is why Pirelli should have been allowed to make changes earlier.

"If you look at where people are now [after Germany] I don't think it has been greatly changed by this belt change, and I don't think it will be greatly changed by the construction change for Hungary.

"They will have a different shape, so there will be marginal winners and losers. It is an area that is difficult to have correlation with the wind tunnel, and that is why teams do a lot of work around the tyres at the circuit.

"I don't think anyone can accurately predict what will happen, but it will not reverse the grid or anything like that - unfortunately."

shares
comments
Kimi Raikkonen to drive in Silverstone's Formula 1 test
Previous article

Kimi Raikkonen to drive in Silverstone's Formula 1 test

Next article

F1's pitlane ban: missing the point?

F1's pitlane ban: missing the point?
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022