Pirelli says the faster 2020 cars stressed its tires beyond design limits

The Ferraris did not have any tire issues because they are so slow through the corners
The Ferraris did not have any tire issues because they are so slow through the corners

Pirelli has concluded its initial analysis on a number of tires that were run at the British Grand Prix last weekend. This allowed to identify the cause of the failures followed by deflations that affected both Mercedes and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz.

The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tires. The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.

Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 Formula 1 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tires generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history.

The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tires. These led to the front-left tire (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.

For the second race at Silverstone this weekend, Pirelli confirms the nominated compounds: C2, C3, and C4, being one step softer than those seen at the last GP.

Also, the usage prescription will be reviewed, increasing the minimum tire pressures to reduce the stress on the construction.

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