Pirelli has confirmed that it will be taking every step to discover the cause of the tyre failure that sidelined Paul di Resta in second practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Scot's left rear tyre lost its tread entering the start-finish straight during the second half of afternoon practice and, despite the tyre still being fully inflated, he was advised to pull over and not attempt to return to the pits for a replacement.
The 'failure' – not a word Pirelli likes to use to describe its issues – follows on from similar problems that afflicted both Lewis Hamilton
and Felipe Massa
at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where the medium compound tyre proved fragile. With di Resta's symptoms differing from his rivals', neither of whom suffered the lost of an entire tread belt, Pirelli has confirmed that it will be taking particular interest.
"It obviously doesn't look pretty when you've the tread coming away like that," motorsport director Paul Hembery told the media in Barcelona, "Last year, if we had failures, it tended to collapse the tyre on to the rim, so it still didn't look good. This year, we are seeing the tread coming away so, visually, it looks rubbish. I don't like that. We're looking at it and seeing if there are things we can do to eliminate it."
Although di Resta remained tight-lipped about the tyre problem, claiming that he could not comment until Pirelli had given its verdict. Force India
chief race engineer Jakob Andreason confirmed that the failure had occurred during a long run on the medium compound as the Scot collected data for Sunday's race.
“[It was] completely unexpected, in the middle of a high-fuel run, on about lap six or seven,” technical director Andrew Green confirmed later, “That's all we know at the moment. It's currently under investigation by Pirelli and I'm sure they'll release something as soon as they know, but it's early days yet.
“We'll give them everything they need to understand what happened with the tyres. It's one of the reasons why we stopped the car straight away – to not damage the tyre and give them as big an opportunity as possible to understand what happened.”