Ross Brawn insists that Mercedes ran above Pirelli’s minimum pressures at Silverstone – which means that one of the key reasons for the blowouts cited by the tyre company cannot account for the failure suffered by Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes is however one of the teams which has been routinely running tyres on the ‘wrong’ side, one of the other factors cited by Pirelli.
Speaking before last night’s statement emerged, Brawn said it would be essential that the FIA become involved in monitoring pressures should they be deemed to be a contributing factor, something that Pirelli has now requested.
“I think pressure wise people were running within the recommended range of Pirelli, and it was also the most competitive range of the tyre,” Brawn told this writer.
“I think where you have a problem is when a tyre clearly performs at a pressure which is outside of their recommended range. If we get into a scenario where the solution is to run pressures which are outside the best performance of the tyre, then there’s got to be a really robust system to make sure people don’t abuse it.
“The good thing so far is that the pressures Pirelli want you to run are where the tyre works best anyway, so no one’s had any incentive to stray. I don’t think anyone was out there running excessively low pressures – certainly we weren’t.
“I think if Pirelli determine that running a higher minimum pressure is the answer, the FIA have got to step in and say right we’re going to police that or control that. If they don’t there will be accusations and potential abuse of the pressures, because it will mean performance.”
Regarding Silverstone, he said: “We had a recommendation [during the race] to keep the tyre pressures higher, which we did. So Nico and Lewis in the latter part of the race ran at the top end of the range that was recommended.
“Of course there was a slight worry after the safety car about keeping the pressures up. There was lots of encouragement to Nico and Lewis to keep the pressures as high as they could, do we didn’t restart behind the safety car with low pressures.”