Pirelli says it will stick with the original plan to introduce a softer compound for this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, despite the late race blowouts that caused havoc in the closing stages of the British GP.

Four drivers suffered front-left tyre delamination in the concluding laps of the Silverstone race, with Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz dropping out of the points as a result of the failures, while Lewis Hamilton was able to nurse his car to victory despite his own late blowout. Williams’ Nicholas Latifi also had a puncture on the slow down lap, it has since emerged.

An investigation by Pirelli revealed an unusually long 40-lap stint on the tyres – prompted by earlier than scheduled pit-stops during a safety car period – and the highest forces ever recorded through fast right-hand turns led to the failures.

Despite this, Pirelli says it will continue with plans to run a different set of compounds this weekend because by the very nature of the softer tyres available, teams will be forced to run two-stop strategies. Even so, Pirelli have adjusted the pressures to help prevent the blowouts occurring again.

“I believe that because we are going with a one-step-softer compound, the length of the stint will be shorter by definition because the compounds are softer,” Pirelli chief Mario Isola said.

“Consider that the medium compound will be the hard for this weekend, the only one that was running 36 laps [in the British GP] was [Romain] Grosjean and the tyres were finished, so I struggle to believe they can run more than 30-something laps next weekend.

“They [the teams] are very good at managing the tyres so I cannot write that in stone, but, looking at the softness of the compound, probably most of the teams will target two-stop strategies…”

The incidents during Silverstone are likely to play a part in adjusting Pirelli’s approach for F1’s first visits to Mugello and Portimao, which also feature fast sweeping turns akin to the British venue.

“We are also going to see what we have to do for high severity circuits Mugello and Spa for sure.

“I also say Portimao which is not unknown, but it looks quite demanding. We collected a lot of data from Sunday’s race that will be useful.

“I would add that it’s something to consider for 2021. Considering we’re using a product that was developed in 2019, that was designed for 2019 cars, we have the same product for 2020 cars and the plan is to carry it over to 2021 – this is something we have to consider in order to decide to agree on the product for next year.”

 

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