Silverstone kerbs not to blame for tyre failures says BRDC President Derek Warwick
Ex-F1 driver dismisses rumours as "absolute rubbish"
By William Esler. Last Updated: 02/07/13 8:25am
BRDC President Derek Warwick says it is "absolute rubbish" to suggest the kerbs at Silverstone were to blame for the tyre failures witnessed in Sunday's British Grand Prix.
The drivers were told by the teams to stay off the kerbs, particularly at The Loop and Aintree after Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa both suffered left rear blow-outs in that area of the circuit.
The BRDC own and operate Silverstone and Warwick says no car has ever had an issue on the Grand Prix circuit since the Arena layout was opened in 2009.
"Absolute rubbish - these kerbs have been in since 2009 and we have had thousands and thousands of cars go over these kerbs and they have been absolutely fine," the 58-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"We have had them checked by the FIA and they conform fully with the FIA. I think the problem is that we had the secret three-day test for Mercedes a few weeks ago - that test was to build a tyre that was strong enough for the British GP.
"They came up with a tyre and the teams then had to vote on bringing that new tyre to Silverstone and three teams voted against bringing the new tyre to Silverstone. So the teams need to look at themselves - they made the decision not to bring the new tyre. I kind of blame Pirelli, but they did their best to bring a new tyre to Silverstone and three teams voted against it."
A lot of the blame for the situation F1 finds itself in has been levelled at Pirelli and Warwick says that whilst they are not entirely to blame, they do have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
"We have to remember that the cars go at 200mph and they have to have certain parameters to make sure they are safe and I think the Pirelli tyres have not been safe enough in the past," he added.
"We have seen blow-outs at other circuits and drivers have to run three or four seconds off the pace otherwise they degrade and that is not good enough for motor racing. We have the best drivers in the world and we want to see them driving at 100% and so do the drivers. So Pirelli and Formula 1 need to have a really good look at themselves and make sure we have tyres that drivers can drive flat-out on all the time and that is not happening at the moment. I think Pirelli should be held responsible, but it is not entirely their fault.
"Pirelli make great tyres so let's not blame them for everything. Pirelli were told to make tyres that degrade so that we could have pit-stops and thrilling races. They have done that - but in doing that have caused this problem. They tried to cure that with the Mercedes test and Mercedes got hammered because of that but all Pirelli were doing was trying to build a safer tyre."
Thus, Warwick suggests the FIA and commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone should also be held to account over the tyre failures.
"For me, Bernie, the FIA and Pirelli are bringing the sport in disrepute and they need to have a serious look at themselves and change these tyres and not expect all the teams to agree," the four-time podium finisher added.
"You will never get all of the teams to agree, so take it out of their hands and put safe tyres on these cars.
"Bernie is in charge of Formula 1, as are the FIA. They chose Pirelli and Pirelli are not living up to expectations so they have a responsibility to this sport to make sure that we have a sport that is safe enough for drivers and spectators to participate in."
The drivers have threatened to boycott Sunday's German Grand Prix if the tyres are not made safer, but Warwick feels such a move could be disastrous for the Nurburgring financially.
"No, I would not back a boycott because as a promoter, as we are at Silverstone, it has financial implications that can destroy a country's grand prix," he said.
"So I do not back that, but I think the drivers are just telling everyone that they have had enough and they don't want to be hit by pieces of flying pieces of debris off a tyre that could potentially kill them and I totally agree that they should be making this statement. I don't think there will be a boycott, but they are just flexing their muscles."