Emotions run high over tyre blistering saga

By on Monday, August 29, 2011

Emotions were running high on Sunday between Red Bull and Pirelli, amid the situation at Spa-Francorchamps over blistering tyres.

Pirelli chief Paul Hembery was spotted in a row with Sebastian Vettel, after the German driver and Mark Webber were told they could not start the Belgian race with new tyres.

Red Bull argued that the tyre blisters that appeared in Q3 was a safety issue, with F1's official supplier hitting back that the phenomenon was the team's own fault.

"Frankly at the end of the race I was very relieved that both our drivers were safe," car designer Adrian Newey told the BBC.

Der Spiegel quotes a Pirelli spokesman as saying the Italian marque would have to "think about" whether Red Bull's intimation about the basic safety of the tyres was a case of defamation.

"Had Red Bull done like everybody else (and followed) to our specifications, they would never have got into trouble," the spokesman added.

Pirelli said in a statement that the problem was caused as "a consequence of some car setups", believed to be tyre camber and pressure.

"We are confident that a similar scenario will not arise again, provided that our usage recommendations are followed," said Hembery, insisting it was "never a safety issue".

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh agreed that Red Bull had pushed the boundaries too far.

"It's about the safety of drivers," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. "We lose a little performance, but that's the safe way. Some other teams seem to have a different attitude."

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