No tyre concerns for 2nd Silverstone GP as Pirelli reveal cause of punctures

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Pirelli has played down concerns over using softer tyres for this weekend's second Formula 1 race at Silverstone.

Questions were raised as to whether the compounds would be suitable after three punctures in the closing laps of the British Grand Prix on Sunday, two of which involved both Mercedes drivers.

However, following an investigation, the Italian supplier has said the cause of the failures was as a result of the C1 tyres completing an extended stint of 40 laps around "one of the most demanding circuits on 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 tyres generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history," Pirelli's statement continued.

"The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (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."

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Pirelli will look to avoid a repeat by increasing the minimum tyre pressures for this weekend's second race, called the 70th Anniversary GP.

And as for the one-stop softer compounds that will be used...

"We keep the same compounds, C2, C3 and C4, that have been already decided a few weeks ago as the tread compound is not affecting in any way what happened on the tyres," motorsport boss Mario Isola explained.

"I don’t want to use the words ‘perfect storm’ because I don’t like it, but the fact that the Safety Car was out on Lap 12, obviously was pushing everybody to change on Lap 12. In a normal situation, a normal strategy was to change for cars that were targeting a one-stop strategy at Lap 18-20.

"I also believe that because we are going with one step softer compounds the length of the stint will be shorter by definition because the compounds are softer," he added.

"Consider that the medium compound [last weekend] will be the hard for this weekend, the only one that was running 36 laps was Grosjean, and the tyres were completely finished. So I struggle to believe that they can run more than 30-something laps next weekend."

What also can't be forgotten is this year's tyres are the same as those used last year, with teams deciding against introducing the spec Pirelli had made for 2020.

And asked if that tyre would have been better at coping with the high loads around Silverstone, Isola's response was clear.

“That construction was more robust, stronger. I would say that was designed with these criteria in mind," he said.

“If I have to compare the resistance of the 2020 tyre compared to the 2019, there is a step in this direction and we can assess this step with our indoor test, with our methodologist. So, yes, is the answer.”