Tyres have been the major talking point behind the scenes at Spa today in the light of front blistering suffered by several of the teams who ran in Q3 and thus start in the top 10.
The teams concerned – including Red Bull – have tried to persuade the FIA that those tyres are damaged and thus they should be allowed to replace the fronts for the start of the race.
The FIA’s response appears to have changed over the course of the morning, with some team sources suggesting that permission has been granted to three teams and others now suggesting that it won’t happen after all. Three teams I spoke to in the last 30 minutes had different versions of the story; and one knew nothing at all about it.
An RBR source said that Adrian Newey and Christian Horner are in with the FIA right now.
If they are granted permission, in theory teams will not be given fresh tyres, so they will have to take two front tyres from one of their other sets, which in effect means they will have only two complete sets of softs for the race. Teams had expected to use three softs and one medium should the race stay dry, so then it becomes a problem…
The FIA has also just said that Pirelli has released 17 new front tyres, just to confuse the matter.
One team is said in such extreme trouble with front blistering that they may have to contemplate a set-up change, which would mean dropping out of parc ferme and starting from the pitlane. Extreme cambers have contributed to the pace of certain cars through Sector 2.