Pirelli motor sport boss Paul Hembery is adamant that Sebastian Vettel’s tyre failure in the Belgian GP was a result of wear after Ferrari ran a single-stop stop strategy.
Ferrari has denied that it took any risks by trying to run 29 laps from Vettel’s lap 14 stop to the flag, but Hembery said it the issue was clear.
“Rosberg was an external cut, this was pure wear,” he said. “If you look at the images, the carcass was still intact so it was a wear issue, the second one on Friday was a cut.
“Actually it is the front tyre that gets hurt the most, that is the one you tend to be worried about here. Friday was a cut, and in this case it was wear. The tyre was finished.”
Hembery said Pirelli didn’t expect teams to run such a long stint.
“He did 28 laps. It is more we thought the strategy was going to be based on two or three stops, which you saw the majority did. They felt clearly that they could make it work on a one-stop and the wear life was indicated at 40 laps – and race conditions can change that. Some factors involved in racing mean that is not precise data. Other teams were clearly taking a different direction.
Regarding Vettel’s reaction he said: “You can always understand a drivers’ reaction when they get hot out of the car. I am not going to say anything negative about that. With time you have a chat, but that is normal.
He added: “It is perfectly easy to say at the end of the race with hindsight. If the race had been one lap less he would have been on the podium and said what a genius move! That is tough.”