Pirelli “disappointed” with teams that ignored advice about tires

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Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that he is disappointed with the teams that chose to ignore the Italian tire supplier’s advice about the longevity of the compounds in India.

Before the race, Pirelli informed teams that they should not attempt to make the soft tires last any longer than fifteen laps and the medium compound any longer than thirty-five laps, believing that the tires could become unsafe. However, in the race, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil both managed to utilize one-stop strategies to finish in the top ten, whilst Kimi Raikkonen also made his mediums last for fifty-one laps. However, Hembery has been dismissive about this after the race in India.

“We saw some very different approaches being taken all the way down the grid, which was roughly split between drivers starting on the soft and the medium tire,” Hembery said. “We also saw many teams split their strategies between both cars, in order to cover every possibility.

“However, we are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do.”

Raikkonen’s stint on the prime tire was the longest of the race whilst Romain Grosjean also made his mediums last forty-four laps, allowing him to finish on the podium despite starting down in seventeenth place.

This is the latest incident in a turbulent season for Pirelli that has seen the Italian tire supplier have to redesign its tires, face criticism from the teams and, of course, ‘tiregate’ at the British Grand Prix back in June.

UPDATE 2: INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama once again under red-flag race stoppage

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UPDATE No. 2: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was closing in on restarting on Lap 23 or 24 before officials threw the second red flag race stoppage because of lingering puddles on the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park, particularly on the front stretch. We’ll keep you updated as situations warrant.

UPDATE No. 1: The INDYCAR Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is under a red-flag race stoppage after 19 laps due to rain and puddling on the racing surface at Barber Motorsports Park.

Cleaners and dryers are on the track to try and get some of the water off the racing surface. The low spots on the track, as well as the front stretch, have been particularly troublesome and led to several spinouts and at least two wrecks (Charlie Kimball and outside front pole sitter Will Power).

Power’s day is done after suffering irreparable damage to the left side of his car after hydroplaning on the front straight and running into the inside retaining wall.

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Although rain has been falling for nearly an hour and the Barber Motorsports Park 2.3-mile permanent road course is drenched, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is underway on NBCSN.

The start of the race was moved up from 3:38 p.m. ET to take the green flag at 3:08 p.m. ET.

Josef Newgarden is the defending winner of this race and also will start from the pole for today’s race.

While the race is scheduled for 90 laps, there’s a possibility that if the weather worsens or if lightning appears, it could potentially be shortened to just two hours.

As can be expected, all cars are on rain tires to maximize grip.

Catch the race live on NBCSN.