Following the GPDA’s threat to boycott the German Grand Prix if the new tires were not deemed to be safe, Pirelli and the FIA have acted swiftly to issue guidelines that should aid the conditions that the tires are in, looking to prevent a repeat of the blowouts at Silverstone last weekend.
The FIA statement reads:
“For safety reasons, we have been asked by Pirelli to ensure that the tires on all cars are run under the conditions listed below. It will be the responsibility of each team to satisfy the FIA technical delegate that their cars comply with the following requirements at all tiems:
1) Minimum starting pressure front and rear: 16 psi
2) Minimum stabilized running pressure front: 20 psi
3) Minimum stabilized running pressure rear: 19 psi
4) Maximum negative EOS camber front: 4.0 degrees
5) Maximum negative EOS camber rear: 2.5 degrees
6) Front and rear tires must be used on the side of the car for which they were originally designated (no swapping from side-to-side).
7) The blanket strategies must be observed.”
Perhaps the stand-out procedure here is point six, forbidding the swapping of tire location. Previously, teams would run the left-front tire on the right-front of the car in order to improve the durability of the tire, but Pirelli had cited this as being a possible reason for the fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix last weekend.
Furthermore, the imposition of such guidelines will only increase concerns that the tires may not be 100% safe, although a lot will be learnt during the first free practice session on Friday morning.
Brendon Hartley’s hopes of a points finish on his Formula 1 debut took a hit on Friday after the FIA confirmed the Toro Rosso driver will start the United States Grand Prix from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso as a surprise replacement for Pierre Gasly in Austin, with the Frenchman tied up with Super Formula duties at Suzuka this weekend.
Hartley took to the track in an official grand prix session for the first time on Friday in Austin, marking his first run-out in an F1 car since a test with Mercedes in 20120.
However, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed in his pre-race report that changes had been made to the power unit on Hartley’s Toro Rosso car since the last race in Japan, triggering a grid penalty.
Toro Rosso elected to take a new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics on Hartley’s Renault power unit, totaling a 25-place grid drop that will be applied after qualifying. Confirmation of the penalty is set to follow later today.
The penalty comes as a setback for Hartley, but was necessary as Toro Rosso found itself short on engine elements to get to the end of the season.
Hartley is not the only driver to have a penalty confirmed, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also taking new engine elements, also confirmed in Bauer’s report.
A new ICE, turbocharger and MGU-H for Hulkenberg will see him drop 20 places on the grid, while an eighth ICE of the year for Vandoorne will trigger a five-place drop.