1 July 2013
Newey slams ‘short-sighted’ rivals as RBR calls for 2012 tyres
Adrian Newey has blamed the 'short-sighted' interests of other F1 teams for exacerbating the problems faced by Pirelli after the British Grand Prix.
Red Bull technical guru Adrian Newey has branded some of the team's rivals as 'short-sighted' following the dramatic events at Silverstone on Sunday.
Although neither of Newey's cars suffered the sort of explosive tyre failure that befell others, he remained critical of the performance-first policies followed by a few teams when Pirelli was trying to push through a revised specification of tyre after similar failures earlier in the year.
While it is no secret that Red Bull would prefer to run on rubber similar to that used in 2012 - indeed, team principal Christian Horner repeated his call for last year's tyres to be reinstated as the rubber of choice for the remainder of 2013 – Newey did not hold back when suggesting that there had been selfish motives at work when Pirelli's suggestion was vetoed by a minority.
"It's a sad state of affairs, but such is the nature of F1 really," he told Reuters, “It's been fairly clear that there has been a number of worrying tyre failures through the year, [but] Pirelli came out with a solution to that - or appear to have come up with a solution - with a different construction that was being offered initially for Montreal.
"Two or three teams vetoed that because they were worried that it would suit some other teams more than it would suit them and, as a result of that short-sightedness, we end up with F1 putting on the worrying performance that it did today and concerns over driver safety."
Although, fortunately, no-one was injured at Silverstone, there were several near misses as debris from failures on the cars of Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez littered the track with bits of bodywork as well as shattered wheels and shredded tyres, and Newey insists that the sport needs to act quickly – and in unity – before it is too late.
"From what I understand of it, had we gone to the different construction then we wouldn't have had the sort of catastrophic failures that we have had today," he continued, "Safety wise, there are potentially two issues. There's the car that has the failure having an accident due to that failure, but also suddenly you've got three kilogrammes or so of tread flying around. If that hits the following [driver] on the helmet, it doesn't bear thinking about."
Ferrari, Lotus and Force India have all expressed reticence about switching to a different tyre midway through a season, but the Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has admitted that it is now time for the F1 world 'to work together' to find a solution to the problem.
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