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Pirelli confident of avoiding Silverstone-style blowout repeats this season

Pirelli confident of avoiding Silverstone-style blowout repeats this season

F1 News

Pirelli confident of avoiding Silverstone-style blowout repeats this season

Pirelli confident of avoiding Silverstone-style blowout repeats this season

Pirelii motorsport boss Mario Isola is confident there will be no repeat this season of the tyre failures that blighted the Italian manufacturer's Formula 1 campaign last year.

The construction of the Pirelli tyres was brought sharply into focus in the British GP at Silverstone where Lewis Hamilton famously won the race on three wheels following a last-lap puncture, while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and then McLaren driver Carlos Sainz also suffered blowouts.

Later in the season at Imola, Max Verstappen's Red Bull also sustained what team principal Christian Horner described as a "totally instantaneous" failure due to cuts on the tread and sidewall as a consequence of unbearable loads.

In response to the rise in downforce on tyres that had not been updated for two seasons, new rules have been introduced this year designed to cut the downforce, while Pirelli has improved the construction of its rubber.

Isola believes the issues of last year will be avoided this season. He said: "The reason why we introduced the new construction is mainly to make it more robust and able to cope with the extreme loads that are in Silverstone and other high-severity circuits.

"Then when we are closer to the race we can understand what is the level of downforce and the level of stress on the tyre as per the simulation we have received from the teams.

"But I am confident that the new construction - and I rely on data from our indoor test department - is more resistant. That's why we decided to introduce it.

"Then obviously the pressure will be a function of the loads we have during the race weekend."

In terms of construction, the weight of the tyre has increased by 1.5kgs in total across the front two and almost 1.2kgs for the rear pair, for an overall total of nearly 2.7kgs.

The sidewall on the front tyres has also been widened by "about three or four millimetres", according to Isola, which he recognises is "very small" but concedes "can make a difference on the downforce" which he believes the teams will recover this season.

Despite the aerodynamic changes the teams have been forced to make that have significantly reduced downforce, Isola said he was "surprised by the amount" they had already reclaimed in pre-season testing and there will eventually be no difference in "performance compared to last year".

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