Belfast Telegraph

Pirelli hit back after Sebastian Vettel blowout

By Philip Duncan

Pirelli has claimed its proposal to restrict the number of laps a tyre could do, one which may have prevented Sebastian Vettel's blowout on Sunday, was dismissed by Formula One's teams a couple of years ago.

On the penultimate lap of a Belgian Grand Prix, in which Lewis Hamilton cruised to his sixth victory of the campaign, Vettel suffered a costly tyre failure.

After the four-time world champion qualified only ninth, Ferrari were attempting an aggressive strategy in a bid to get their man on the podium - but it failed in the most dramatic of circumstances. Vettel, who finished outside of the points, vented his anger at Pirelli, by claiming he could have been killed had the failure occurred in the high-speed Eau Rouge section of the Spa-Francorchamps track.

But Pirelli say the company's request to limit the number of laps driven by a driver on the same set of tyres was ruled out by the sport's teams two years ago.

Pirelli has argued that had its idea been met with approval, Vettel's tyre failure could have been prevented.

"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," Pirelli said in a statement.

"This request was not accepted. The proposal put forward a maximum distance equivalent to 50 per cent of the grand prix distance for the prime tyre and 30 per cent for the option. These conditions, if applied at Spa, would have limited the maximum number of laps on the medium compound to 22."

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