Vettel: Good to have modified tyres, has to be safe
4 July 2013 – Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel has backed Pirelli’s decision to change the tyres for the German Grand Prix this weekend.
Following all the failures last Sunday at Silverstone, Pirelli has made the decision to bring modified rubber to the Nürburgring. The ‘new’ rear tyres use Kevlar belts as opposed to steel and precede bigger changes planned for Hungary.
“I think first of all that it’s good that within not even a week’s time, how we were able to get a different tyre for this race which hopefully is safer for all of us,” Vettel remarked. “Obviously the last race was not what we want and not satisfactory so I think it’s good that we have a new tyre here. How much better and how different it will be is difficult to judge at this stage but I’m confident that it’s a step forward.”
“Pirelli has absolutely no interest in trying to shuffle things around,” Vettel added. “They obviously try to supply every team with a tyre, whether you like it or not, it’s completely up to you but I think as we learned last weekend, it has to be safe.”
The other drivers’ in Thursday’s FIA press conference also said they felt the changes were needed.
“It’s definitely important to change something for safety, no longer for the performance. I think it’s very important that we as drivers feel safe,” said McLaren driver Sergio Perez, “Something could have happened, we could have had a big accident in the last race weekend. It’s a good thing that Pirelli is reacting to make a change.”
“I agree with Sergio,” Sauber’s Nico Hülkenberg continued. “I think it is for safety now and there must be some action and there is some action, there are changes and I think generally this track here is not as high speed, not as many high speed corners so the tyres don’t get as hard a time as they did at Silverstone. So I’m confident that this will be safe now.”
Adrian Sutil, however, while supportive of the changes, seemed to suggest the rationale for change wasn’t quite so clear cut as has been made out.
“Yeah, as long as it’s for safety, I think they have to improve it, yes, but it hasn’t been a hundred percent [proved] that it was a rear tyre issue,” the Force India man stated. “One says it’s a tyre issue what caused the punctures at Silverstone, some people say it’s maybe kerbing or something like that, so it’s always hard to see where the problem is, but four punctures in a race is too much, so they have to get behind it.
“I felt safe on those tyres though, and had no problems with them. I had some two stop races, I did a two stop strategy in Silverstone, so for me the concern is not so much.”
Nico Rosberg meanwhile said that the new revisions made could well shake up the pack: “It’s very likely that it’s going to have an impact, on performances, differences, qualifying/race, so it will be interesting. It’s possible that it’s going to mix things up a little bit but it’s also an opportunity, yeah, for us as a team to try and understand it better and earlier than other people and try and make the most of it,” he noted.
“I trust the FIA is going to make the right calls, as they are, they’re working on it flat out together with Pirelli, so I’m sure there’s going to be progress and it shouldn’t be a concern this weekend,” he summed-up.