BRDC president Derek Warwick has dismissed suggestions that the kerbs at Silverstone played a major part in the spate of tyre failures seen at the British Grand Prix.

Several sources claimed that potential rough or sharp edges to the kerbs, especially around the extended section of the circuit, could have made a contributory factor to the four very public rear tyre failures that occurred during the race, with Pirelli's Paul Hembery also suggesting that the venue - and not specifically the kerbs - could have played a role in the situation.

"There might be some aspect to this circuit that impacts specifically on the latest version of our 2013 specification tyres but, at this point, we do not want to speculate," Hembery commented, "We will now put together all the evidence to find out what happened and then take appropriate next steps should these be required."

Having seen both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa suffered blow-outs in the early part of the Wellington Straight, teams were quick to warn their drivers to stay off the kerbs in that section, although the suggestion went largely unheeded once racing resumed. The other two failures, suffered by Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez, occurred at opposite ends of the Hangar Straight, on the other side of the circuit, while the Mexican also had a tyre let go in the area of Becketts during Saturday morning practice.

Warwick - a former F1 driver with the likes of Renault, Lotus and Arrows - insists that there was nothing amiss with the kerbs, which had been in place for the past three British grands prix on the extended layout, and also played host to other international motorsport events on both two and four wheels without apparent problem.

"Absolute rubbish - these kerbs have been in since 2009 and we have had thousands and thousands of cars go over them and they have been absolutely fine," Warwick told Sky Sports News, "We have had them checked by the FIA and they conform fully with the FIA."

The Briton's belief tallied with that of third-place finisher Fernando Alonso, who revealed that he too suffered damage to a tyre, but was fortunate not to have it destroy itself before getting back to the pits.

"I don't think that the kerbs have any influence because I have been racing for twelve years now in Silverstone and the kerbs they were never a problem," the double world champion claimed, "I don't think that this year they were a problem."

Warwick instead suggested that the teams take a good look at themselves and their inability to reach an accord on the introduction of an alternative tyre specification, after Pirelli's attempts to bring a revised tyre to Silverstone were stymied by a minority who felt that the change would be more beneficial to their rivals.

"I think the problem is that we had the 'secret' three-day test for Mercedes a few weeks ago," Warwick suggested, "That test was to build a tyre that was strong enough for the British GP. They came up with a tyre and the teams then had to vote on bringing that new tyre to Silverstone - and three teams voted against bringing the new tyre to Silverstone.

"So the teams need to look at themselves [as] they made the decision not to bring the new tyre. I kind of blame Pirelli, but they did their best to bring a new tyre to Silverstone and three teams voted against it."

Pirelli does not escape Warwick's frustration either, as the BRDC chief suggests that, despite following the directions of those keen to improve the show, the tyre supplier needs to examine whether its product is fit for purpose.

"We have to remember that the cars go at 200mph and they have to have certain parameters to make sure they are safe," he commented, "I think the Pirelli tyres have not been safe enough in the past.

"I think Pirelli should be held responsible, but it is not entirely their fault. Pirelli make great tyres, so let's not blame them for everything. Pirelli were told to make tyres that degrade so that we could have pit-stops and thrilling races. They have done that - but, in doing that, have caused this problem. They tried to cure that with the Mercedes test and Mercedes got hammered because of that, but all Pirelli were doing was trying to build a safer tyre.

"For me, Bernie [Ecclestone], the FIA and Pirelli are bringing the sport in disrepute and they need to have a serious look at themselves and change these tyres - and not expect all the teams to agree.

"You will never get all of the teams to agree, so take it out of their hands and put safe tyres on these cars. Bernie is in charge of F1, as are the FIA. They chose Pirelli and Pirelli are not living up to expectations, so they have a responsibility to this sport to make sure that we have a sport that is safe enough for drivers and spectators to participate in.

"We have seen blow-outs at other circuits and drivers have to run three or four seconds off the pace otherwise they degrade and that is not good enough for motor racing. We have the best drivers in the world and we want to see them driving at 100 per cent - and so do the drivers. Pirelli and F1 need to have a really good look at themselves and make sure we have tyres that drivers can drive flat-out all the time. That is not happening at the moment."


Loading Comments...