Pirelli says a long final stint, plus the “biggest forces” ever generated by Formula 1 cars was the cause of three tyre failures during the British Grand Prix.
The closing stages of Sunday’s race at Silverstone saw both Mercedes’ drivers and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz suffer front-left punctures.
All three incidents were as a result of running on worn rubber for a period of almost 40 laps, which Pirelli cited as one of the main factors in the delaminations.
The Italian company believed Silverstone’s high-speed layout, that is historically known to put a lot of stress on tyres, was also key in what it called the “most challenging operating conditions”.
Releasing a statement confirming it had concluded its analysis, Pirelli said: “The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres.
“The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.
“Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 Formula 1 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history.
“The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.”
Questions were raised as to whether Pirelli would scrap its decision to bring softer compound tyres to the second Silverstone race following the failures.
But it confirmed the C2, C3 and C4 compounds would be used by the teams, although minimum tyre pressures would be increased.
“For the second race at Silverstone this weekend, Pirelli confirms the nominated compounds: C2, C3, and C4, being one step softer than those seen at the last GP.
“Also the usage prescription will be reviewed, increasing the minimum tyre pressures to reduce the stress on the construction.”