Despite various protestations of innocence and fingers being pointed at other potential causes for the chaos that descended on the British Grand Prix, Pirelli has conceded that it had a part to play in the blow-outs that affected five drivers at Silverstone.
Lewis Hamilton lost what could have been a first win of the year when his left rear tyre failed while leading on lap eight, while Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne both suffered identical problems in the following few laps. Esteban Gutierrez lost a left front tyre not long afterwards, while McLaren's Sergio Perez suffered his second left rear failure of the weekend late in the race, debris from which only narrowly missed Fernando Alonso.
Pirelli initially denied being at fault for the problems, variously blaming debris, the Silverstone kerbs and teams that routinely under-pressured the tyres in search of a competitive edge, but motorsport director Paul Hembery, having finally achieved the company's goal of introducing revised tyres for this weekend's German Grand Prix, now admits that there was fault on all
"I have to say last weekend was our responsibility,” he conceded to journalists at the Nurburgring, “We allowed the teams to invert the tyres when we shouldn't have done. With the cars going much quicker this year, that creates different loads. With the inverted tyres, you create a weakness point, and that was the issue. There were secondary issues, which have been mentioned, but I don't want to take away from the fact it was our responsibility."
Such is the desire to avoid a repeat of what happened at Silverstone, Pirelli asked the FIA to mandate pressures and cambers for all teams ahead of opening practice in Germany, but Hembery insisted that the company would not stop working until a definitive solution was found. The next round of the season, in Hungary in three weeks' time, will see another different tyre being introduced, blending the best characteristics of the 2012 and 2013 tyres.
"At the end of the day, we have to make sure we don't have any issues like we had at Silverstone - that's the bottom line," Hembery continued, "We need to get it sorted, [and the] best way to react is do it properly and get things sorted and get things back on line. We are a professional company. We are very passionate about what we do - and very good at what we do."
"You don't walk away in difficult times. That's the time to work harder and make sure you do a better job."