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Weather, not tyres, decided race - Pirelli

9 July 2012


After Ferrari's Fernando Alonso dominated almost the entire British Grand Prix this weekend, only to lose the win in the final four laps to a flying Mark Webber in the Red Bull, Pirelli refuted any suggestions that tyre wear had played too big a role in how the race went on Sunday.

"It was great to see the sun shining for the start of the British Grand Prix and a fully dry race," said Pirelli motorsport's Paul Hembery. "But this presented its own challenges for the teams, as they had very little information on which to base their strategies.

"With no rubber having been laid down on the track during Friday and Saturday, the track also evolved notably during the race," he added.

This meant that no one knew what the "right" and "wrong" tyre strategies for the race would be. The fact that Webber flew to victory by getting the soft option tyres out of the way early on was only evident in hindsight.

"Mark Webber and Red Bull chose tactics that paid off brilliantly," said Hembery. "Everyone had their own thinking on the best way forward, which was reflected in the huge variety of start tyre choices, with most drivers having an ample selection of unused slicks at their disposal."

It was also pointed out that if rain had arrived during the race as everyone had expected, then the choice to run the harder option tyres back-to-back in the first of the three stints would have given Ferrari more flexibility about the timing of when to come in for their final pit stops - and that wet weather would have bypassed the need to run the soft options altogether.

As it turned out, the race stayed dry to the end, with a downpour arriving only an hour after the chequered flag. That resulted in Alonso's pace dropping off badly in the final stint compared to the Red Bulls, and in the end cost Ferrari the race win.

Speaking to Crash.net at Silverstone, Hembery said that there had been nothing wrong with the option tyres Alonso used. "There was a little bit of graining with the left fronts of the soft compound, but it wasn't a Ferrari-specific problem," he said.

Hembery also wanted to add his thanks to the British fans who had stood by the event despite inclement weather causing severe problems with the traffic and parking around Silverstone.

"Like everybody else, we've been hugely impressed by the dedication and commitment of the fans this weekend, who have endured some extremely arduous circumstances, but were finally rewarded with another great race," he said.

Additional reporting by Zoltan Karpathy


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