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Japanese Grand Prix: Tyre situation is 'unacceptable' - Perez

McLaren's Sergio Perez has added his voice to the growing number of drivers speaking out about the state of the tyres in F1 in 2013.
Last week it was Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso who were hitting out about the safety and performance of the current generation of Pirelli tyre compounds being supplied for Grand Prix events.

But this week it was McLaren's Sergio Perez - the driver his by a sudden blow-out of his right front tyre in Korea - who was making his dissatisfaction known, calling the current situation "totally unacceptable" and not at all normal.

Perez' tyre delamination last weekend was put down to a tyre lock-up that occurred just moments before the blow-out. "It was a big flat spot that put a huge hole right the way through the tread. There's not a lot we can do about that one,' said Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery at the time, pointing out that it had occurred at the very end of a 21-lap stint. "He actually went beyond that as he he went through two or three layers of aramid.

"We've absolutely no fears going forward. The structure we use now is what we have used for the last two years and there hasn't been an issue," Hembery added. "Of course, you will get racing incidents, but that's life."

Perez conceded that he'd locked up - "I was surprised when the brakes locked. I came around the corner and the tyre exploded on the straight," he said - but was scathing about the idea that such a blow-out should be the result of a tyre lock-up.

"This is the first time we hear that, from a lock-up, the tyre can explode," Perez told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport publication. "Then we hear that this is normal. I think this is not normal at all. It's unacceptable that the tyre explodes.

"We have a lot of lock-ups. It's easy to lock up in an F1 car," he continued. "But what is not normal is that we get used to seeing explosions of the tyres and the tread coming away from the tyres.

"The first issue is the safety. If you have a lock-up and your tyre then explodes, it is a big concern," he explained. "Definitely these kinds of issues have to be addressed and we have to get on top of it.

"You have heard from all the drivers that we are concerned," Perez added. "Not about degradation and looking after the tyres, that's part of the game, but this has become a safety issue."

His comments mirror those of Alonso after last weekend's race, when the former world champion had also objected to the idea that a major blow-out after a single lock-up should ever be considered a normal fact of F1 life.

"If you have one lock-up and you have a tyre explosion there is something not going in the right direction," said Alonso. "Everyone sees and it is what we don't want to see for next year. So we need to improve that quality."

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October 12, 2013 3:29 PM
Last Edited 168 days ago

So this just clarifies what has been discussed in other news posts in this site: making less-lasting tyres for action purposes does not mean a lock-up should lead to catastrophic failure

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