Silverstone: Thousands of cars have gone over these kerbs and they’re absolutely fine

1 July, 2013

Lewis Hamilton rides the kerbs during the British GP weekend

Lewis Hamilton rides the kerbs during the British GP weekend

Silverstone’s owners hit back on Monday at suggestions that the circuit’s kerbs could be to blame for explosive Pirelli tyre failures at Sunday’s British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Derek Warwick, President of the British Racing Drivers Club, said he had been out to look at the kerbs and dismissed as “absolute rubbish” reports that sharp edges might have cut the tyre sidewalls.

“These kerbs have been in since 2009. We’ve had thousands and thousands of cars go over these kerbs and they have been absolutely fine,” Warwick, an ex-F1 driver, told Sky Sports television.

“We’ve had them checked by the FIA (International Automobile Federation) and they comply completely,” he added as a safety debate raged, with talk of a possible driver boycott of the next race in Germany.

The Briton said that the Silverstone race – in which strips of tread containing metal belts flew off the tyres and narrowly missed the heads of drivers following behind – had at one stage looked like a disaster in the making.

Derek Warwick not accepting blame for grand prix blowouts

Derek Warwick not accepting blame for grand prix blowouts

“We need to make sure it’s a good race here at Silverstone in order to bring the crowds back for next year so to say I was panicking would be an under-statement,” said Warwick.

He pointed the finger at Pirelli, the three teams who prevented the supplier from introducing a stronger version of the tyres for the race at Silverstone and the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

“I think Bernie, the FIA and Pirelli are bringing the sport into disrepute and they need to have a serious look at themselves and change these tyres and not expect all the teams to agree,” said Warwick.

“Take it out of the teams’ hands and put safe tyres on these cars,” he added.

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India have resisted moves to change the construction and compounds of the 2013 tyres, which other teams say are too quick-wearing and not hard enough, because their cars are working well with them.

“The teams need to look at themselves,” said Warwick. “They made the decision not to bring a 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.”

The offending kerb at Silverstone

The offending Turn 4 kerb at Silverstone

The Pirelli tyres have come in for considerable criticism this season, with drivers also complaining that they have to pace themselves to make them last rather than racing flat out.

Pirelli have pointed out that  they are merely doing what they were asked to do to improve the show, providing tyres that encourage overtaking and force more pitstops. When they tried to change them, they were prevented from doing so.

The company has also chafed at the sporting regulations, which ban teams from track testing during the season and using their current cars to test with Pirelli.

The Italian company was controversially reprimanded by the FIA last month for carrying out a ‘secret’ tyre test with Mercedes in Spain.

Warwick, who played down talk of a possible driver boycott threatening next weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring, said the Italian company made good tyres but had not lived up to expectations.

“Pirelli and F1 need to have a really good look at themselves and make sure that we have tyres that drivers can drive flat out all the time,” said the Briton. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.


  • Spartacus

    Pirelli knows what the problem is. That’s why they had new tyres ready with a different construction. But they were blocked because Ferrari went to the FIA and moaned. It’s not called Ferrari International Assistance for nothing!

    If it weren’t for Ferrari then Pirelli would have already been allowed to change the tyres for safety reasons.

  • JR

    The picture is NOT turn 4

    The BBC went to turn 4 and showed on TV the offending jagged edged curb.

    Maybe Del Boy was watching Sky, who ignored the issue to talk to A Spice Girl

  • Jayne Speed

    Its not Silverstone’s fault,stop passing the book.Pirelli is to blame for supplying substandard rubbish.Sort it out before you have blood on your hands.

  • BBto

    Pirelli changed to kevlar belt?

    Steel belt -> Delamination, not blowouts.

    Kevlar belt -> Note delamination, yes blowouts.

    If you look all the pictures from UK GP there are no rest of steel belt and you can see something similar to kevlar in most of them…..

  • BBto

    You can see the info about this on Marca online:

    WHEELS CHANGED WITHOUT NOTICE TO THE TEAMS AND BECAME THE DISASTER

    Pirelli deceives all

    Marca is able to ensure that Pirelli brought to Britain a new batch of wheels, with a different structure. The steel ring structure has rubbed a layer of kevlar over before the tread rubber. They wanted to eliminate overheating of the rubber that has caused delaminations in some GPs.

    And Marca knows because Sauber and McLaren sent operatives themselves to try to recover the pieces scattered on the asphalt of the tires that were on their cars. That and the debris left on the tire and the puzzle uncovered joined the toast.

  • Firoze Munzeer

    Spartacus it was Force India, Lotus and Ferrari who objected to the new tyres being introduced – no consensus. Kimi was lucky and did not have Massa incident and Lotus was one of them

  • Speedo

    Jayne Speed. Don’t blame Pirelli like I did at the begining. They were following orders from the FIA and Bernie to make the race more interesting and more pit stops. Hence these tyres. Pirelli could have continued with 2012 tyres if they were allowed to do so which would have saved them more money/man power and time wasted. Think about it. They improved the tyres after the so called secret tests and wanted to introduce them in Canada but there was objections from Ferrari, Force India and Lotus. There was no consensus and therefore they were not introduced. Now they are allowed 2 tests and I hope it is conducted with the Mercs team – return of favour.

  • PB

    FOM is the contractor. They tell the tyre manufacturer what they want. So where is the ultimate responsibility? Bring on the Michellin Man.

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