SILVERSTONE, June 30th, 2013 (F1plus/G. Keilloh).- Today’s British Grand Prix was notorious for featuring four spectacular tyre failures, putting the sport’s current design of Pirelli rubber right back into the spotlight. After the first three failures early in the race several drivers received radio messages advising them to keep clear of the kerbs in order to minimise the chances of a further tyre failure for themselves. Nevertheless much kerb-riding could be seen throughout the field for the race’s remainder.
The responses of the race’s top three finishers to a question from F1Plus revealed that each of the three took a different approach in response to this advice.
Perhaps reflecting the different priorities of their race situation, winner and long-time leader Nico Rosberg insisted he took a cautious approach and stayed away from the kerbs as much as possible. Second-placed man Mark Webber appeared to strike more of a balance though feels he still adhered to his team’s advice on the matter, while Fernando Alonso, who completed the podium having spent much of the race in the pack, stated that his approach did not change and that he continued to push using the kerbs to the full.
Rosberg said: ‘For myself, I wasn’t (taking risks). I was staying off the kerbs…when Mark was chasing me it was a compromise between how fast he was coming at me and how much am I going to take out of the tyres. So I was staying off the kerbs, taking it easy in the high speed where the most damage is done. Then I had to pick up the pace a little bit towards the end as he was getting quite close. That was really difficult to judge it’.
Webber confirmed that he was advised by radio to keep off the kerbs, though added ‘that’s all they can probably give us is ‘staying off the kerbs’, they didn’t probably really know why the tyres were failing at the rate that they were.
‘I did what you can, all the right hand corners…all the fast corners, try to stay away from there (the kerbs). It’s not always easy, but in general I do adhere to the advice, because yes you want to gain a little bit here and there but…it’s not much fun driving a car with three tyres. So you have to make sure you do what you can to listen to the team, they’re in the pit wall with the most information.’
Alonso confirmed that he’d also been advised to steer clear of the kerbs, but did not change his approach given his situation in the race: ‘They kept telling me to go off the kerbs, but obviously if you’re position 12 you need to attack, you need to change the racing line, you need the use the DRS…’. The Spaniard later confirmed: ‘I didn’t change (my approach)’.