Pirelli have defended their racing tires following the series of high-speed failures seen during the British Grand Prix last weekend.
However F1’s official tire supplier will bring revised tires for this weekend’s race in Germany.
“For this race only, we will bring Kevlar-belted rear tires, following the incidents at the British Grand Prix,” said motor sport director Paul Hembery.
Pirelli will use a version of their tires which incorporate Kevlar belts, replacing the steel ones used previously.
“Even though the 2013 high-performance steel-belted version is completely safe when used correctly, the Kevlar-belted version is easier to manage,” said Hembery, “and as long as there is no system in place which allows us to enforce tire related specifications, like tire pressures or camber, the incorrect use of which were contributing factors of the tire failures in Silverstone, we prefer to bring a less sophisticated tire.”
Pirelli requires a short-term solution due to the British and German races running on consecutive weekends. A long-term fix has been proposed for the following race in Hungary at the end of July.
“From the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards there will be a completely new range of tires, combining the characteristics of our 2012 tires with the increased performance of the 2013 specification,” said Hembery.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”