Pirelli Identifies Tyre Issue after FP1 at Qatar GP
After the first practice session (FP1) on Friday at the Qatar Grand Prix, Pirelli, the official tyre supplier for Formula 1, followed their standard procedure of analysing the tyres used during the session. During this analysis, Pirelli discovered a microscopic separation in the sidewall of the tyres.
Upon closer examination, it was found that the separation occurred between the topping compound and the carcass cords of the tyres. This separation was caused by drivers running over the newly introduced ‘pyramid’ kerbs at the Losail circuit.
The ‘pyramid’ kerbs, implemented for the 2023 season, feature a raised 50mm border that creates significant impacts as the tyres drop over the edge.
Pirelli’s findings highlight the potential impact of these kerbs on tyre performance and durability. The intense forces exerted upon the tyres as they traverse the ‘pyramid’ kerbs can lead to structural damage and compromise the integrity of the sidewalls.
As a result of this discovery, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has taken decisive action to address the issue. They have mandated a maximum of 18-lap stints for the Qatar Grand Prix to minimize the risk of tyre trouble and ensure the safety of the drivers.
This decision reflects the FIA’s commitment to prioritizing driver safety and maintaining fair competition in Formula 1. By imposing limitations on the number of laps per stint, the FIA aims to mitigate the potential damage caused by the ‘pyramid’ kerbs and reduce the likelihood of tyre failures during the race.