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2013, the year of Pirelli

When people look back at the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship, they will not remember the dominance shown by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing.

They will remember the season when the sports official tyre manufacturer stole all the headlines.

Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli were once again in the spotlight following the Korean Grand Prix.

After numerous tyre failures during the earlier part of the season, Pirelli were forced into a mid-season tyre shift, altering back to the 2012 seasons construction with the 2013 tyre compound.

This was done due to safety concerns, but it undeniably had a huge impact on the course of the 2013 Formula One season.

Prior to the change in tyre construction, Sebastian Vettel had won 3 races, Fernando Alonso had won twice, as had Nico Rosberg, while Kimi Raikkonen had also stood on the top step of the podium.

Following the British Grand Prix, Pirelli introduced slightly modified tyres for the Germany, before introducing the new specification of tyre in Hungary.

Since that point, Vettel has won five of six Grand Prix's with Lewis Hamilton the only other winner.

The alteration of tyres has best suited the combination of Vettel and Red Bull and has had a huge influence over the title.

But has it actually resolved the issue?

Formula One has certainly seen less tyre failures, but in Korea spectators witnessed another high speed tyre blow out for McLaren's Sergio Perez.

After locking up into the first corner, Perez suffered a right front failure at speed down the straight, the debris caused by the incident, which included damaging the McLaren's front wing caused Red Bull's Mark Webber to also suffer a puncture.

Pirelli put the tyre failure down to the lock up that happened moments earlier, but Webber believes the tyre is what caused the lock up in the first place.

'Pirelli will put the puncture of Perez down to a lock-up but the reason the drivers are locking up is because there's no tread left, That is how it is. The drivers aren't super important - it is what other people want. The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit. But that is for Pirelli to sort out.' Mark Webber told Sky Sports.

Pirelli, who have recently agreed a multi-year deal with Formula One to remain as the sports official tyre manufacturer refused to should any blame and said in a statement: 'Regarding Sergio Perez's front-right tyre issue we have been able to determine very quickly that it was the result of a flat spot caused by a lock-up under heavy braking, We're obviously on exactly the same construction as we raced here last year, so there's no underlying problem, while flat spots or punctures have just always been an integral part of racing.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 8 2013

Time: 12:00PM

 

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