Pirelli has responded to Sebastian Vettel's damning appraisal of its tyres following a dramatic high-speed failure towards the end of the Belgian Grand Prix, saying it was Ferrari's fault for pushing it to the end its wear-life.
Vettel was running third with less than two laps of the race remaining, the German climbing the order after Ferrari put him on a one-stop strategy that would have seen him complete 29 laps on a single set of medium rubber.
However, the right-rear tyre would fail at high-speed on the Kemmel Straight, Vettel fortunate to keep the Ferrari pointing in the right direction as he wrestled with it.
Prompting his first non-score of the season, a furious Vettel proceeded to vent his anger at Pirelli
for the failure, branding it as 'unacceptable'.
Pirelli, however, feels Ferrari was pushing its luck by allowing Vettel to stay out on track longer than two/three stop strategies it had recommended, even if Paul Hembery admitted the wear life was indicated at 'around 40 laps'.
"It was at the end of wear-life," he said Hembery. "When you do that, any tyre in the world, when it gets to the end of its wear-life, you're going to have a problem. He completed 28 laps, which was more than we thought as the strategy would be based on two or three stops. The majority did, but they felt clearly they could make it work on the one stop.
"Wear-life was indicated at around 40 laps, but it's an indication and race conditions can change that and some factors involved in racing mean that sometimes it's not a precise datum. Other teams were clearly taking a different direction."
With Vettel speculating that Nico Rosberg's similarly dramatic tyre blowout during Friday FP2 – which Pirelli said was caused by an external source – was similar to his, Hembery insists there is 'nothing to compare'.
"No. Rosberg was an external cut; this was pure wear. If you look at the images, the actual carcass was still intact. It was a wear issue the second one and Friday was a cut. If the race had been one lap less, he'd be on the podium and we'd have said it was a genius move – it's tough."