Formula One appears to be all about the tyres at the moment, after Sebastian Vettel’s tyre failure in the closing stages of the Belgian Grand Prix. Pirelli blamed the blowout on the “combined effect of debris on the track and prolonged tyre usage on a circuit that is particularly demanding.”
Following on from this and ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, many of the F1 teams were unhappy with the tyre suppliers recommendation that they add a full 5 PSI of pressure to their tyres this weekend at Monza.
World champion Lewis Hamilton warned it could lead to “disaster” due to increased tyre wear, while Fernando Alonso labelled it “strange” that such a significant rise could be introduced without having been tested with the current compounds.
Now Pirelli has revised its opinion and imposed just a one PSI tyre pressure raise front and rear.
Former F1 driver Marc Surer had an interesting perspective on the whole situation. He told the German broadcaster Sky: “I am from the’old guard’ and in my day there were also punctures but no one was leaping from their chairs.
“I think what we’re seeing is drivers no longer willing to take the risk. But we’re talking about a race tyre, which is significantly more sensitive than a road tyre – so you can go much faster.
“If you only want safety, then you would have to build wooden tyres. But I don’t think the drivers want that either.”
All this goes to show how crucial proper tyre inflation is though, whether you drive a blisteringly fast Formula One car or a steady little hatchback. It may not cost your average motorist a world champion title, but it could end up costing much more if you are involved in an accident due to incorrectly inflated tyres!
Denna Bowman, Head Office