FOM satisfied Pirelli not to blame for Spa tire failures

1 Comment

Formula One Management has issued a statement in support of Pirelli following the tire supplier’s investigation into the series of failures at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli came under fire in the aftermath of the race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after both Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel suffered sizeable tire failures across the course of the weekend.

After launching an investigation into the cause of the blowouts, Pirelli issued a statement on Thursday confirming that they were the result of excessive debris on the track and not a result of a structural shortcoming.

Pirelli’s findings have been supported by the FIA, and has now also been backed by FOM, who also issued a statement on Thursday evening.

Here is the statement in full:

Pirelli has been a first class partner of Formula One during the five seasons in which it has been the Official Supplier of Tires to the FIA Formula One World Championship and we continue to have full confidence in the safety, quality and suitability of its tires.

Within the constraints of safety considerations, which are always paramount, Formula One encourages Pirelli to provide tire compounds with performance limitations because tire degradation contributes to the challenge and entertainment of a Formula One race. When doing so, Pirelli provides strong guidance to competitors about any performance limitations of the tires supplied. Competitors should heed Pirelli’s expert advice when setting their race strategy and tactics, and if they do not, it is at their own risk.

We are entirely satisfied that Pirelli was not at fault for any tire-related incidents during the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tires to last for an entire Event. While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting.

Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!

Pirelli is currently facing competition from French manufacturer Michelin for the tire tender in F1 from 2017. Michelin is known to favor a more durable tire that would allow drivers to push throughout the race, whilst Pirelli is set to stick to its more variable compound life to create an entertaining race.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

HUSTLING HELIO: Castroneves hunting for 2021 rides in IMSA, IndyCar

Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.