Derek Warwick, former F1 driver and president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club which runs Silverstone, rubbished claims the tire failure seen in yesterday’s race were caused by problems with curbs.
“Absolute rubbish – these curbs have been in since 2009 and we have had thousands and thousands of cars go over these curbs and they have been absolutely fine,” Warwick told Sky.
During the race drivers were told to avoid using the curbs in several corners as teams suspected they might be contributing to the problems.
The curbs at The Loop and Becketts were under scrutiny as all five of the tire failures during the race occurred immediately after these bends.
But Warwick is convinced there was nothing wrong with them: “We have had them checked by the FIA and they conform fully with the FIA.”
“I think the problem is that we had the secret three-day test for Mercedes a few weeks ago – that test was to build a tire that was strong enough for the British GP.
“They came up with a tire and the teams then had to vote on bringing that new tire to Silverstone and three teams voted against bringing the new tire to Silverstone. So the teams need to look at themselves – they made the decision not to bring the new tire.
“I kind of blame Pirelli, but they did their best to bring a new tire to Silverstone and three teams voted against it.”
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.