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Pirelli reveals cause of British GP drama

4 August 2020

Pirelli has concluded its initial analysis on a number of the tyres that were run at the British Grand Prix last weekend, including several of those that disintegrated on the last laps of the race.

This investigation has allowed the Italian firm to identify the cause of the failures that hampered the two Mercedes drivers, as well as the McLaren of Carlos Sainz in the Grand Prix dying minutes.

Pirelli says the key reason for the failures was simply a unique set of race circumstances, that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres. With the second safety car of the race prompting almost all the teams to bring their planned stop forward, the cars were forced to carry out an extremely long final stint of around 40 laps; more than three quarters race length on one of the calendar’s most demanding circuits.

This extended stint, combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020-spec cars made the last few laps particularly tough, with the tyres having to deal with the highest tyre forces ever dealt with in F1’s history.

Despite these failures under the stressful conditions at Silverstone, for the second race of the double header, Pirelli has confirmed that it will stick to its plan of using tyres one step softer than those from last weekend, however it will do so under a reviewed usage prescription, with the minimum tyre pressures increased to reduce stress on the tyres’ construction.

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