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Pirelli: Rules, not teams, should control stint length

24 Aug 2015

Pirelli have reiterated their belief that the number of laps a driver can run on one set of tyres should be set out in the rules, rather than being left to individual teams to decide.

It follows Sebastian Vettel’s criticism of the tyre manufacturer after Ferrari’s decision to one-stop him in Sunday’s Belgian race ended in a right-rear tyre failure less than two laps from a potential third place.

“In November 2013, Pirelli requested that there should be rules to govern the maximum number of laps that can be driven on the same set of tyres, among other parameters to do with correct tyre usage,” read a Pirelli statement. “This request was not accepted.”

While most drivers opted for a two-stop strategy at Spa, Vettel’s one stopper meant he needed to complete close to 30 laps in his final stint on Pirelli’s medium-compound tyre - something he and Ferrari believed the tyre to be capable of.

Referring to their 2013 suggestions, Pirelli stated: “The proposal put forward a maximum distance equivalent to 50 percent of the Grand Prix distance for the prime tyre and 30 percent for the option. These conditions, if applied at Spa, would have limited the maximum number of laps on the medium compound to 22.”

After the race, Vettel, who had been fending off Lotus’s Romain Grosjean in a close fight for third place, commented: “We deserved to finish on the podium but that’s racing; a different thing though is not to finish the race because of what happened.

“I think this is not easy to accept for a driver - even if it’s not as bad as in Silverstone few years ago, we still need to talk to each other as it can’t happen without prior notice.”

Vettel was the second driver to experience a right-rear tyre problem over the Spa weekend. Pirelli concluded that the deflation experienced by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg on Friday was likely caused by an external cut.