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Discussion Starter #241
That's nice but, unfortunately when they say 'Nurburgring', they mean the bland 'GP circuit', not the wonderful Nordschleife that hosted the German GP for many decades until Lauda's big crash in '76.
Yes ‘The Green Hell’ - IIRC from a previous post you have raced there.

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #242
McLaren set for shock F1 reunion with iconic Gulf Oil brand

McLaren set for shock F1 reunion with iconic Gulf Oil brand

By: Jonathan Noble
Jul 23, 2020

McLaren is set to bring the iconic Gulf Oil brand back to Formula 1 as part of a new sponsorship deal.

Images of a McLaren showcar on a photoshoot at a Gulf-branded petrol station began circulating on social media on Thursday.

With Lando Norris and CEO Zak Brown taking centre stage, the McLaren car was spotted with the famous Gulf logo on the engine cover – suggesting that the team had concluded an agreement with the company and was preparing promotional material.

The team’s previous sponsorship deal with oil and fuel supplier Petrobras had been terminated at the end of last year, and the Woking-based outfit appears to have wasted little time in finding a replacement. McLaren declined to comment about the nature of the photoshoot nor of any potential partnership with Gulf.
However, the team posted a teaser image on Twitter that featured the Gulf logo from the shoot – albeit blurred out.
Pulling off a deal with Gulf would mark a renewal of a partnership that goes back to the origins of McLaren. In the 1960s, Gulf Oil sponsored Bruce McLaren’s efforts in F1 and in the popular Can-Am sports car championship.
The Gulf logo went on to become one of the most well-known in motor racing. It featured heavily in the 1971 movie Le Mans, with Steve McQueen driving for the Gulf-backed Porsche team.

The company went on to enjoy numerous victories at Le Mans, and in the 1990s it renewed a sponsorship partnership with McLaren and the privately-owned race team run by Ray Bellm.
The Gulf McLaren F1 GTR was dominant in sportscar racing at the time, winning the 1996 BPR Global Endurance Series and the GT Class at Le Mans in 1997.
#39 Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren F1 GTR BMW: Ray Bellm, Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Masanori Sekiya

#39 Gulf Team Davidoff McLaren F1 GTR BMW: Ray Bellm, Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Masanori Sekiya
Photo by: Patrick Martinoli

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #245 (Edited)

F1 needs a proper drivers' championship — there's only one way to do it
JULY 24TH 2020
Only one car has shown itself capable of winning F1 races this season, writes Tony Dodgins. And this means 90 per cent of drivers don't have a chance of the title. Is there another way?
Charles Leclerc, Hungarian GP 2020

A new seat each weekend — could driver rotations work in F1?
Joe Portlock/Formula 1 via Getty Images
by Tony Dodgins
Quiz question: in the 70-year history of Formula 1, only one man has won more than a single world championship in a car that did not win the constructors’ title in the same year. Who?
If the answer doesn’t come tripping off the tongue, I’ll put you out of your misery shortly. But it rarely ever happens. Since the constructors’ championship began in 1958, some eight years after the drivers’, only eight men have done it.
It was 15 years before Jackie Stewart won the title in a Tyrrell while Lotus drivers Ronnie Peterson and Emerson Fittipaldishared more wins and Colin Chapman’s team won the constructors’.

Three years on, James Hunt did it for McLaren in that epic ’76 season featured in the Rush movie, when Ferrari took the teams’ championship. He was helped, though, by Niki Lauda missing crucial races after his Nürburgring accident.
Nelson Piquet did it for Brabham five years on when the Williams drivers, reigning champion Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann – whose regard for the other was well under control – took points from each other.
In fact, it happened three years on the bounce in the early eighties, just as the Cosworth-engined days finally drew to a close and the high-cost turbos arrived. Keke Rosberg claimed just one race win in a Williams FW08 but that was enough to win him the title in a year when Ferrari’s 126C2 was the class of the field but Gilles Villeneuve died at Imola and team-mate Didier Pironi suffered a career-ending practice accident in blinding spray at Hockenheim.
Piquet did it again in ’83 – there’s your answer! – to take his second of three titles in just Brabham’s second year with a BMW turbo as Renault (now with seven years F1 turbo experience!) self-destructed in the second half of the season and Ferrari won the constructors’ championship. Oh, and Bernie Ecclestone, Charlie Whiting, Herbie Blash & Co may have come across some rather decent fuel along the way.
Nelson Piquet in his Brabham at the 1983 South African Grand Prix

Piquet won the drivers’ title in ’83 but there was no winning trophy for Brabham
Three years on and Williams-Honda was now the dominant chassis/turbo engine combination but Alain Prost retained his title in the Adelaide season finale after Williams team-mates Nigel Mansell and Piquet fought each other all year and Nigel suffered his heartbreaking Australian tyre blow-out.
Michael Schumacher won the first of his seven titles aboard a Benetton in 1994 as Williams recovered to win the constructors’ title after the early-season death of Ayrton Senna and struggles with fundamental aero issues on its FW16.
Five years later, Mika Hakkinen retained his drivers’ title in a McLaren after a down-to-the-wire fight with Eddie Irvine. But only after Ferrari team leader Schumacher broke his leg at Silverstoneand missed races.

Since then, in the intervening 21 years, it’s been done once, by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in 2008, when he pipped Felipe Massa by a point in that Brazil season finale no-one will ever forget, but Ferrari took the constructors’ championship.
In an ironic aside, the Piquets can boast a direct involvement in that, too. Had Nelson Jr not deliberately crashed in Singapore to bring out the Safety Car and facilitate a win for Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso, race leader Massa would not have needed to make a hurried pit stop, in which he left with his refuelling hose still attached and dropped from first to last. Had that race played out normally, Felipe would have been the 2008 world champion, not Lewis.
So much for the history, then. Where am I going with this?
Amid times of widespread change in F1 – budget caps, potential levelling of playing fields, etc – the sport should go the whole hog and give us a proper drivers’ championship. And the only way to do that is to rotate the drivers between teams during the season.
Rather than being employed by the teams, drivers qualify for the top echelon of the sport in the same way that tennis players or golfers do, via feeder series, on merit alone. They receive a basic FIA wage for competing at each grand prix, with healthy remuneration for points scored and megabucks for winning the championship. At year-end, the bottom four or five are relegated, to be replaced by the star men from the feeder series.
Can you think of another top sport in which you strive like hell to ‘make it’, and find it so skewed that 75-90 per cent of the competitors can’t compete?
While it’s great to have F1 back after such a long break, the excitement is tempered by, as things stand, just the one truly competitive car. If your name is anything other than Hamilton or Bottas, my cat’s got as much chance of winning the world championship.
Before I go further, I do think Lewis is a special driver: super-quick, instinctive, savvy racer, error-free, clean and fair. But is he on a higher plane than anyone else? I can’t tell you because I don’t know. All I know is that when you put such a driver in demonstrably the best car for seven successive 20-odd race seasons, it’s hardly a surprise that he looks set to usurp Michael Schumacher’s records.
Schumacher himself drove the best car, or one very close to it – with a subservient team-mate – for 11 of his F1 seasons, so it wasn’t a shock that he won 91 races. Impressive, yes, but hardly unbelievable.
Can you think of another top sport in which you strive like hell to ‘make it’, finally break into the big league, and find it so skewed that 75-90 per cent of the competitors can’t compete?
Imagine you’re a tennis player: you’ve done thousands of hours of practice, looked after yourself, made sacrifices and finally broken into the world’s top 100. You find yourself on the main tour, in the draw for grand slams, but when you get there you’ve got to play Djokovic, Nadal and Federer with a wooden racket. That’s pretty much the situation that 90 per cent of F1 drivers find themselves in.
The money’s another story. You can look at the ATP prize money list and see that Djokovic has $143m in career prize money, Federer $129m and Nadal $120m. And the nearest to them is Andy Murray with $64m. But to get to that level they have to turn up every week and beat everyone on level terms. They are genuine sporting giants.
Contrast that with F1, where the wealth of the leading drivers is salary-derived rather than results-driven and only one of the 10 teams is capable of winning. The top drivers sign multi-year contracts and are then effectively protected species. Until someone comes along and pricks their bubble. But the only man who can do that is the guy sat in the same car. One seat.
With Hamilton over the past seven years, nobody has burst that bubble. Nico Rosberg beat him in 2016 with the same car but a blown engine for Lewis in Malaysia had a lot to do with that. And the effort involved led Nico to hang up his lid rather than try to do it again. A bright lad, he no doubt fully understood how much robbing Lewis of the chance to redress the balance would get up his nose!
Are current champions overrated?
At Ferrari, Schumacher was paid multiple squillions to drive the best car for years. Having been around since the championship started Ferrari was aware of history showing that the best chance of making the best car but not winning the drivers’ championship comes when you have two winning drivers fighting each other in the same team. So Michael was better protected than Lewis. It would have been dynamite if a Hakkinen or Alonso had been dropped into the same car.
Hamilton in parc ferme after winning the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton and Bottas in parc fermé after dominating the Hungarian GP
JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images

The psychological effects of continued success are interesting. You can’t blame the casual F1 observer for thinking, over the past few years, that Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were on a different level to the rest. But, even when you’re close to it and know that in reality all the guys out there are within a couple of tenths, over time you, too, start to believe that the multiple winners are super beings. And then something jolts you awake. Like Lance Stroll, a man who couldn’t clear Q1 for most of 2019, suddenly qualifying on the second row in the dry when Racing Point gives him a Mercedes.
I feel for Sergio Perez over the speculation that he could lose his Racing Point seat to Vettel. Yes, Seb’s a four-time world champion, a fine ambassador and a good guy, but how many others would have been in those Red Bulls? The Vettel bubble was pricked by Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 and Sebastian was highly fortunate that Ferrari had terminally fallen out with Alonso at the same time.
In a recent podcast with my journalist colleague Tom Clarkson, it was interesting to hear Nick Heidfeld talk of his time with BMW-Sauber, where Vettel was test driver.
“I under-rated him back then,” Nick said, “never thought he would be a multiple champion. I’m not basing that on the one race I did with him (Indy 2007) but all the tests. He did a lot of Friday sessions and he did okay but the fact that BMW didn’t put him in the car also shows they weren’t 100 per cent convinced. Everyone liked him and I think the mindset was to try to get him in the car, but the results weren’t quite good enough.”
The pole and wet Monza win in the Toro Rosso in ’08 changed the perception of course, and then came the Newey supercars early in the F1 career. Then he encountered first Ricciardo, then Charles Leclerc, when the late Sergio Marchionne disregarded history lessons, pitched “laggard” Kimi Räikkönen and lobbed in Charles alongside Seb. Light the blue touch paper and stand back… Oh, look what’s happened! But wasn’t it great? Drivers shouldn’t be protected in F1’s top teams.
So now there are question marks over Seb and he’s no longer the blue-eyed boy. Checo, meanwhile, has never had a winning car. His record is actually really decent. In his rookie season at Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi got the better of him but Perez turned the tables the following season and earned himself a McLaren seat.
Sadly, it was the wrong time to go to Woking and Perez did not get the winning car he expected. Jenson Button bested him, but not by much, and has always rated Sergio. It’s worth pointing out at this point that in three seasons alongside Hamilton at McLaren, Jenson outpointed Lewis 672-657 and scored just two fewer victories than Hamilton’s 10.

Related article
Will 2020 be the year Mercedes records a perfect F1 season?
Will 2020 be the year Mercedes records a perfect F1 season?

Then on to Force India where, three seasons out of four, Perez beat team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, a man who also never had a winning F1 car but won every junior championship he contested.
Finally, just as the team builds you a Mercedes and you can compete – well, for the podium at least – there’s a chance Vettel might nick it! You’d be pretty ticked off.
Would Sebastian do a better job than Perez in a Racing Point? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe. He’d probably qualify it a bit better. But Perez is one of the best overtakers out there and might well race it better, hit a bit less. But he deserves his chance.
And that’s the whole point. We need an extra team and then we can have 22 races and each driver does two in each car. We’ll get a proper world champion – and yes, it may still be Hamilton, although I’m sure Messrs Verstappen and Alonso might take issue with that.
F1 shouldn’t live in the past
When he was FIA president Max Mosley put a similar proposal to the F1 Commission in October 2002. The problem then was that he had 12 teams and only 18 races. He suggested they all drive one race for each team for the first dozen races, after which the leading drivers could choose their cars for the last six. He wasn’t really serious though, the idea was a stalking horse for other radical ideas he wanted to get through: success ballast, restricted engine numbers, restricted aero development, testing cut-backs. Any of those sound familiar?
I heard Ross Brawn talking about tradition and change in F1 recently, and was encouraged to hear him say that just because something has always been a particular way in the past, that doesn’t mean it should always be that way.
He was talking about grids, qualifying and, specifically, the idea of reverse championship position Saturday sprint races to form Sunday’s grid.
The purists baulk at that, but I’ve been into this sport for 50 years and I can’t see the problem. But it’s not the main issue. The main issue is that we haven’t had a proper drivers’ championship for 70 years.
I know the purists will bang on about Jim Clark in his Lotus, Stewart in his Tyrrell, Senna in his McLaren and declare that F1 is a ‘team’ sport.
But it still would be. The best teams would still win, innovation wouldn’t be stifled. But we’d get a properly exciting – and fair – drivers’ competition as well. Nobody could afford to switch off at any stage because a point in an AlphaTauri might be just as important to winning you the championship as a victory in a Mercedes. The tuggers would be out at the end of the year and the young blood – which would be exempt from relegation in year one – would get their chance, on merit only, not via nationality of sponsorship dollars.
And in these cash-strapped budget-conscious days, you wouldn’t have 50 per cent of a 2023 £104m budget going to one over-protected man. Go on, Ross, sort it out.

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #246
Images are for editorial use only.
McLaren and Gulf Oil International Ltd have today announced a multi-year strategic partnership which will see Gulf, one of the most iconic brands in the world, partner with world-famous luxury supercar company McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Racing team.
The partnership reunites two renowned brands that have a long-standing and successful history together and symbolises a united ambition to use both brands’ innovation and class-leading capabilities to refine a winning formula, both on the track and on the road.
Gulf’s link with McLaren started in 1968 and continued until the end of the 1973 season, with Gulf and McLaren enjoying success in both Formula 1 and the Can-Am series, in which the partnership won over 40 races. The partnership was then renewed at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the 1990s, with the ifamous McLaren F1 GTR running in Gulf colours throughout the decade.
A globally recognised and trusted brand, Gulf’s instantly recognisable orange disc is now synonymous around the world with high quality products, innovation and technical excellence, aligning directly with key McLaren attributes.
From 2021, Gulf will become the preferred lubricant supplier to McLaren Automotive, with all cars to be filled with Gulf Oil and fuel optimised for high performance engines.
Gulf branding will also be displayed at McLaren Automotive’s PURE customer events that take place around the world, at retailers and on team kit.
In addition, a small and exclusive number of customers will be given the option to have their McLaren supercar hand-painted by McLaren Special Operations, the firm’s bespoke division, in Gulf liveries and colours which echo the famous F1 GTR Le Mans car that raced in the 1990s.
To launch the partnership, the Gulf brand will be integrated into the McLaren Formula 1 team from the British Grand Prix 2020 on Friday 31 July – Sunday 2 August. The logo will be represented by McLaren F1 personnel throughout the 2020 F1 season, including via race drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz and the McLaren pit crew. Gulf branding will also appear on the engine covers and wing mirrors of the McLaren MCL35 race cars.
“It’s great to be able to welcome back Gulf after a long historical association which has seen the name adorn many McLaren road cars and race cars over the years. McLaren has a rich history of working with class-leading partners and we’re delighted to continue this trend via our renewed partnership with Gulf. Like McLaren, the Gulf name is synonymous around the world with technical excellence and innovation and the excitement of going racing and motoring.
“Every supercar will have Gulf fuel and lubricants when it leaves the McLaren Production Centre and I know our customers will be thrilled to be able to work with our in-house bespoke team on the option of being one of the few to be able to personalise their McLaren supercar in the iconic Gulf livery.”

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

“This is a very exciting partnership that brings the Gulf brand back into elite motor racing. The history books are full of remarkable tales that tell of what Gulf and McLaren have achieved in the past. Now we are together once more to write the next chapter of this unique partnership.
“We’re proud to be working alongside a brand that shares our future aspirations and our ambition for innovation both on the road and on the track. We look forward to working together and developing both Gulf and McLaren’s class-leading capabilities further.”

Mike Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Oil.
“We’re delighted to welcome Gulf back to McLaren and reunite two iconic brands back together in a new and exciting partnership. Gulf is part of McLaren’s history and are well-known for their innovation and technical excellence in the industry, with which aligns with McLaren perfectly. We are looking forward to starting our partnership together this season.”
Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing.

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #247
F1 Silverstone GB

PST TV schedule

7/31 Practice1 ESPN 2 2:50am

7/31 Practice2 ESPN 2 6:50am

8/1 Practice3 ESPN 2 3:50am

8/1 Qualifying ESPN 5:50am

8/2 Race ESPN 6:05am

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #249

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #250
Qualifying Results – 2020 British Grand Prix
Silverstone, UK
by Thomas Maher
1st August 2020
Results Q3 (Classification):

  1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.303
  2. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.313
  3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +1.022
  4. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1.124
  5. Lando Norris McLaren +1.479
  6. Lance Stroll Racing Point +1.536
  7. Carlos Sainz McLaren +1.662
  8. Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1.706
  9. Esteban Ocon Renault +1.906
  10. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +2.036
Results Q2 (Classification):

  1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:25.015
  2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.332
  3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +1.129
  4. Carlos Sainz McLaren +1.134
  5. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1.188
  6. Esteban Ocon Renault +1.237
  7. Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1.324
  8. Lando Norris McLaren +1.405
  9. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.440
  10. Lance Stroll Racing Point +1.486
  11. Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +1.486
  12. Alex Albon Red Bull Racing +1.530
  13. Nico Hulkenburg Racing Point +1.551
  14. Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri +1.729
  15. George Russell Williams +2.077
Results Q1 (Classification):

  1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:25.801
  2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.099
  3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +0.314
  4. Lance Stroll Racing Point +0.442
  5. Nico Hulkenburg Racing Point +0.526
  6. Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +0.542
  7. Esteban Ocon Renault +0.595
  8. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +0.668
  9. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.749
  10. Alex Albon Red Bull Racing +0.764
  11. Daniel Ricciardo Renault +0.876
  12. Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.914
  13. George Russell Williams +0.931
  14. Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri +0.973
  15. Lando Norris McLaren +1.054
  16. Kevin Magnussen Haas +1.357
  17. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1.363
  18. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1.565
  19. Romain Grosjean Haas +1.842
  20. Nicholas Latifi Williams +1.904 Qualifying Results – 2020 British Grand Prix

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #251
Driver & Constructor Standings – British GP 2020
Silverstone, UK

by Aron Day
2nd August 2020
Driver Constructor Standings points Silverstone British Grand Prix Championship
Red Bull

British Grand Prix – Updated Driver and Constructor Standings tables following the 2020 British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom.
Driver Standings

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes88
2Valtteri BottasMercedes58
3Max VerstappenRed Bull52
4Lando NorrisMcLaren36
5Charles LeclercFerrari33
6Alex AlbonRed Bull26
7Sergio PerezRacing Point22
8Lance StrollRacing Point20
9Daniel RicciardoRenault20
10Carlos SainzMcLaren15
11Esteban OconRenault12
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri12
13Sebastian VettelFerrari10
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo2
15Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri1
16Kevin MagnussenHaas1
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams0
18Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo0
19George RussellWilliams0
20Romain GrosjeanHaas0
Constructor Standings
2Red Bull55
4Racing Point40
8Alfa Romeo2


5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #252

Sheared bolt caused engine failure which put Hulkenberg out
2020 British Grand Prix
2nd August 2020,
Written by
Dieter Rencken and Keith Collantine

Nico Hulkenberg failed to start the British Grand Prix on his return to Formula 1 due a sheared bolt within his power unit, Racing Point have confirmed.

The broken part prevented the team from being able to start his car, and he was unable to take part in the race.

“It looks like a bolt sheared within the clutch housing and that bolt got caught and therefore wouldn’t allow the internal combustion engine to turn over,” explained Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer. “So where the bolt had fell off it got jammed and therefore we couldn’t turn the engine over.”
The part which failed was not manufactured by Racing Point, Szafnauer confirmed. the team obtain their power units and some associated hardware from Mercedes.
Szafnauer said he doesn’t yet now what caused the bolt to fail. “I think it’s a bit early to understand why but it did sheer off so it could be a material issue, it could be an over-torque issue.
“I don’t know, I’m sure all those bolts are torqued to a certain specification. Say the torque wrenches just aren’t right and you over-torque it, it could sheer it. It could be a material issue in manufacturing. But until you look into all those things: was the bolt brittle, was the material brittle? I don’t know. So we’ll have to understand the root cause and make sure that we fix it.”
Hulkenberg is expected to return for the team in next week’s race, and Szafnauer said he would have benefitted from the opportunity to race today.
“It would have been very useful for Nico to get a race,” he said. “And unfortunately he didn’t. I think he did a great job jumping in the deep end, starting from zero.”

5,265 Posts
Discussion Starter #253
A closer look at how strategy and cornering speeds played their part in the dramatic Silverstone finale

Special contributor
Mark Hughes

The dramatic ending to the British Grand Prix was very much tyre-related, the last three laps seeing three sudden deflations of the left-front. Lewis Hamilton completed most of his last lap with just three inflated tyres, hanging on to win from a fast-closing Max Verstappen on fresh rubber.

Just two laps prior to that, Valtteri Bottas had lost his second place with an identical problem. In the lap between the Mercedes failures, Carlos Sainz lost fourth place when his McLaren’s tyre surrendered in the same way.
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Watch all the action as Hamilton survives late drama to win British GP
Pirelli are still investigating the exact cause of the failures, but the suspicion is that it was caused by a combination of higher-than-expected wear rates and damage from debris left on the track by Kimi Raikkonen’s collapsing front wing, late in the race, when the tyres were very thin and susceptible to such damage.

So, why was the wear so high? And why did that make them susceptible?

Great Britain 2020: Tyre drama sparks remarkable Silverstone finish

These questions need to be answered against the backdrop of every team going into the race intending to one-stop. Last year, with the same tyres, one-stop only became feasible as the race unfolded, allowing the expected two-stop to be changed to the faster one.
One-stopping implies long stints – this around a Silverstone circuit of very high-speed, long-duration corners which take more energy from the tyres than any other track on the calendar. It’s already hugely demanding of the left-front tyre.
Watch and listen to Hamilton ‘fight for survival’ on last lap of British GP
Extending the stint lengths by opting to one-stop is only going to make that demand more critical. Furthermore, the Lap 13 Safety Car caused by Daniil Kvyat’s accident brought everyone in around 10 laps earlier than planned, so extending the second stint length even further.
The loads on a tyre are a function of the car’s weight and its cornering speed. But the increase in load is not linear with speed. Rather, it squares. This year’s Mercedes was an average of around 10km/h quicker than last year’s at the apex of the fast corners. That’s a lot more load. There are implications for the structural requirements of the tyre and the wear.

Raikkonen's front wing comes loose at Becketts - was this the moment that tyre-wrecking debris was scattered?

At the time of writing, structural failure was not suspected. But the wear rate was certainly higher than forecast. The first hint of this came as Romain Grosjean – who had stayed out during the safety car as everyone else pitted – brought his medium-tyred Haas in after 36 laps with zero tread remaining. Grosjean actually felt the tyre ‘die’ on his in-lap.
Others were beginning to feel vibrations from the left-front with around 10 laps still to go and were backing off in response.
That would probably have been enough to have got everyone safely to the end. But four laps from home, Raikkonen’s wing – which had earlier been damaged and weakened – failed completely through Maggotts and Becketts. This seems to have left carbon fibre shards scattered across the track.
When Red Bull brought Max Verstappen in to switch to a set of soft tyres with which to try for the fastest lap point, they noted that the old tyres which came off were ‘covered with about 50 cuts’. That was clear evidence of debris damage, though in this case it wasn’t enough to deflate the tyre.

The aftermath: Hamilton looks at his mangled tyre after winning the British GP
But in the case of Bottas, Sainz and Hamilton, it was. The failures look to have happened around the outer shoulder area. When the tread wears, this is the vulnerable area. Especially when the pressures are high. For Silverstone they were very high, with a Pirelli-stipulated minimum of 25psi for the front (21 rear).
This is around 4psi higher than at somewhere like the Red Bull Ring. Lower pressures would allow greater grip but thereby feed greater loads into the carcass of the tyre. The higher the corner speeds, the higher Pirelli tends to set the minimum pressure in order to keep the tyre’s structure safe. But this has the effect of bulging the tread out.
READ MORE: ‘No guarantee Verstappen would have got to the end’, say Red Bull as they stand by pit stop decision
So in summary, the deflations look likely to have been the result of the worst combination of increased cornering loads from this year’s cars on a tyre with a high minimum pressure and long stint lengths.
The long stint lengths required for a one-stop were only made possible by how well the tyres were retaining their performance even as they wore. But it obviously took them much closer to the wear limit. That and the combination of the high pressures gave them a particular vulnerability to debris damage late in the race – and debris was indeed dropped late in the race.
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