Pirelli has vowed to look into the cause of the various tyre failures that blighted the British Grand Prix
– but will have to come up with some quick answers after being summoned to meet the F1 Sporting Committee next week.
Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez all suffered high-profile failures of the left-rear tyre during the Silverstone race, the Mexican enduring his second such fright of the weekend after a similar problem in Saturday practice, and post-race reaction from the drivers suggest that they want to see something done before the consequences are worse than simply lost results.
As he had following Friday's failure, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery insisted that the issue had nothing to do with previous delamination problems, or the revised bonding method introduced for the Silverstone weekend. Instead, he blamed a 'cut in the inner sidewall'.
“Something went into the tyre, pierced it, and then came out again, in the direction of travel,” Hembery explained, “Whether that was a piece of debris or the edge of a kerb is hard to say at the moment, [but] it is important to point out that this incident was unrelated to any of the delamination issues we have had in the past.”
Cornered by the media immediately after the conclusion of the race, the Briton again refused to speculate on the possible cause of the various incidents but, amid various claims of sharp kerbs, accident debris and teams running lower-than-recommended pressure, promised that his team of engineers would be looking closely at what remained of the tyres.
"Obviously, today wasn't foreseen - we've seen something new, a different type of problem," Hembery said, "We're currently performing our analysis. We've got to go away and understand what's happened. When we've got the facts we can understand what's happened and get to the core of the issue. It was one tyre at the back, the left-rear, so we need to understand that. It's pointless me adding anything until we have all the facts."
With some teams calling for immediate answers – McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh says that the sport can't wait until next weekend's German Grand Prix
– and others, notably Lotus and Force India, still resistant to change that may dull their performance on the current tyres, the road ahead is already far from smooth, but the FIA now appears to be taking matters in hand by summoning Pirelli to meet with the Sporting Committee in Paris on Wednesday.
Pirelli has apparently been told to have a solution ready for presentation to the group, despite the fact that it has yet to be officially confirmed as the 'guilty party' in a situation where several potential culprits remain at large. With just a week between rounds, however, it looks likely that the German Grand Prix
will be run on tyres of similar construction to those used at Silverstone. The medium and soft compounds are slated for the 'Ring, as opposed to the hard and medium on show in the UK, but the issue appears across the board and not just in a single compound.