Who or what is to blame for F1 tyre shambles?


Nico Rosberg may have taken an unexpected victory in the British Grand Prix, but it will be Pirelli and not Mercedes that gains most of the headlines - and not for the right reasons.

Although the action on track was entertaining enough, it will be the four highly-visible rear tyre failures - and another less well-publicised front failure - that will be the Silverstone talking point.

But who should the finger really be pointing at?

The uninitiated and gun-jumpers will almost certainly put Pirelli in the dock for what happened on a sunny Silverstone afternoon, the tyre company the easiest target as it was its products that gave out so spectacularly on the cars of Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez, and almost did for both Rosberg and Fernando Alonso as well.

However, even as Pirelli investigates the cause of the failures - which it insists were different to those suffered in previous races and were not the result of its new tyre bonding process - other conspiracies were emerging.

Was it the kerbs at Silverstone, particularly those on the extension introduced in 2011? Alonso says he hadn't used them any differently to previous years, but some television pictures would have us believe that there were sharp edges just waiting to prey on unsuspecting tyres.

Was it the teams running the tyres a few PSI below Pirelli's recommendations, searching for those elusive tenths that may make all the difference to their result? Both Ferrari and Red Bull made no secret of telling their drivers that pressures had been increased in the sets they received after the first rash of failures....

Could it have been the weather which, for once bathed Silverstone in hot sunshine rather than cool, cloudy - and frequently wet - conditions? Did the higher temperatures combine with lower pressures and an abrasive track surface to produce the 'perfect storm' that provoked the failures?

Were the drivers to blame for taking that little bit extra while attempting to race each other, pushing their wheels beyond the limits of the track? Very few appeared willing to heed theit teams' warnings to stay off the kerbs after Hamilton and co had had their races wrecked...

Or, rather than looking for clues at Silverstone itself, should attention be switched to events prior to F1 returning to Europe? Pirelli wanted to introduce a revised tyre, with a kevlar band replacing the cheaper steel version that started the season. While the majority were in agreement, others - understandably seeking to retain an advantage with their 2013 cars - opposed the move, leaving F1 to carry on as it was.

Are the current testing regulations at fault? Much has been written about 'testgate' and whether or not Mercedes should have used its 2013 car to help Pirelli with its development programme, but is the logic of only allowing the tyre supplier to test with a car of 2011 vintage somewhat twisted? And, along similar lines, should there have been a return to in-season testing - as there will in 2014 - to allow Pirelli to run its ideas for change past all eleven teams? Is a single Young Driver test, be it at season's end or in the midst of the campaign, really going to provide the sort of feedback necessary in the current crisis?

Finally, should those who directed Pirelli to produce its current range of tyres be the ones at whom fingers should be pointed? The Italian company is hardly going to volunteer to produce failure-prone tyres that do little for its brand beyond the realms of F1, but it has been willing to do its bit to 'improve the show' at the behest of both the teams and the governing body who, inspired by a freak weekend in Montreal in 2010, have coerced its new partner into producing more and more fragile rubber...

Laid out that way, the list of suspects suddenly becomes a little longer, but who do you think is most to blame for the current situation? Is Pirelli the culprit or merely the fall-guy? Are the teams, drivers or rulemakers to blame? Did the circuit catch everyone out as never before? Or was it merely a 'perfect storm' that put Silverstone, Pirelli and the participants centre stage in a sporting drama?

This is your chance to have a say... Simply select your preferred perpetrator from the list below and don't forget to explain your decision in the comments section...

Who or what is to blame for F1 tyre shambles?









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