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Standing waves in Eau Rouge: Doubts Pirelli's wear and tear theory

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Standing waves in Eau Rouge
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P irelli sports director Paul Hembery was after the Belgian GP sought-after man. For the second time in 3 days he had to explain a puncture. While Nico Rosberg was still diplomatically correct commenting on his flat tire on Friday at 306 km /h, Sebastian Vettel pulled off the leather. It is unacceptable that the tires hardly last longer than 200 kilometers. 'I accept that an old tire becomes slower. But not that it bursts as a result.'

Paul Hembery replied that Ferrari had deliberately taken a risk with its one-stop strategy. One and a half laps before the end of the race, the aggressive tactic went wrong: 'Our recommendation was a race with two to three stops.'

But how does that fit in with the policy that Pirelli has given all teams before the race gave. The hard tire was designed for 40 laps. Vettel had just completed 28 laps at the time of the flat tire.

Hembery saw no contradiction in this: 'Our guideline is based on calculations before the race. Of course, we cannot know what loads will actually occur in the race and how that will occur The race is on. ' Hembery stated coolly: 'Nobody has driven more than 22 laps with one set of tires. Only Ferrari was above it.' There was only one explanation for the tire manager: Vettel had been driving on one set of tires for too long. That meant that there was not enough rubber left in the end.

One-stop race was plan A

Ferrari race director Maurizio Arrivabene disagreed with this assessment: 'A one-stop race was our plan A. We set it up at 11 o'clock in the morning, based on the data that the engineers determined during training. We have a Pirelli engineer in every box. He is not just here and chewing gum. He would have intervened if the data had shown anything suspicious. Our strategy may have been aggressive, but it wasn't risky. '

Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff saw it differently: 'A one-stop race was Ferrari's only chance to get Vettel on the podium. It's understandable that they tried it and that Vettel is angry. But I have to protect Pirelli. It was a conscious decision by Ferrari to take a risk After our puncture on Friday at the H interachse reduced the fall and even considered a third stop, 'said Wolff. And Lauda putAccording to: 'Ferrari mustn't complain if a risk tactic doesn't work. What Vettel said about his tire partner doesn't work.'

This opinion was not shared in the camp of Lotus and Force India. 'If Pirelli tells us that the tire should last 40 laps, then it mustn't break after 28 laps. For us a one-stop race was only a substitute solution, but we also considered it,' said Lotus operations manager Alan Permane .

High wear would have been announced

Force India chief technology officer Andy Green became even clearer. He rejects the wear theory: 'If Vettel's tires had been too worn, then he would have pitted long ago. As soon as the rubber layer is less than 30 percent worn, the lap times increase by 2 to 3 seconds. And the tire temperatures drop from 140 to 110 degrees. It's like driving on ice. You don't even come near the dangerous area. And if it gets that far, your team pits you first. '

The engineers are talking about a 'Yellow Deg Area' and a 'Red Deg Area.' Vettel was still in the 'yellow' zone. His lap times had only increased 0.7 seconds in the last 10 laps before the incident. That is a sure sign that there was still enough rubber on the tread.

Standing waves in Eau Rouge

This brings up another suspicion that Pirelli definitely wants to refute . A problem with the structure of the tire. 'We can rule out a structural problem,' dismisses Hembery. The tire specialists of various teams are no longer so sure, since auto motor und sport took a photo of Vettel in Eau Rouge after training via >> Twitter and has published it in the picture gallery. This shows so-called standing waves on the flanks of the left rear tire. This is a perfectly normal phenomenon in fast corners.

But in this photo a standing wave could be observed, the extent of which worried the team's tire specialist. He had even warned internally about tire damage and was no longer so sure whether the tire at Rosberg was not damaged in this way. Perhaps in connection with driving over the curb at the exit from Eau Rouge. The drivers had never before included the new curb in their ideal line in such a way.

Maximum running times for tires

In two weeks, Formula 1 will be in Monza. Another high speed line. As in Spa, the 'soft' and 'medium' mixtures are used again there. Last year Pirelli drove a step harder. Nico Rosberg demands: 'You have to understand the problem andincorporate some safety precautions. Perhaps you can turn on the rear camera on all cars so that you can spot the problem in good time. '

Hembery announced that Pirelli may prescribe a maximum running time for its tires again in the future, as in 2013.' We're off Gone because the team has been disadvantaged, whose cars are gentle on the tires. We may need to rethink that. '

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