SEPTEMBER 9, 2011
Tyre risks could lead to Monza exclusion
After the Belgian Grand Prix, in which the winning Red Bulls exceeded Pirelli's recommended four degrees of camber after limited dry running in free practice, Pirelli has lobbied the FIA to consider adopting its reduced Monza camber recommendations as law, for safety reasons. Tony Dodgins spoke to Pirelli's director of motorsport, Paul Hembery.
Q: Can you confirm you have recommended 3.25 degrees maximum camber here at Monza?
Q: Have you seen any cause for concern after the first two sessions?
Cause for concern, no, what we've seen is a normal Monza where getting to the end of a stint you get some smaller blisters appearing. We've seen that on a couple of cars but we saw some really good performance from the softer compound, which did more laps than we were anticipating actually. We thought we'd be down around 10/11 laps but we're closer to 20, so it's looking good for a two-stop race. It was a good examination today with the heat. But we've seen nothing that we would describe as a concern or out of the ordinary.
Q: High speed Monza is presumably one of the worst tracks you come to regarding the potential to blister?
It is, because you've got the end of the straightline, where you're running on the shoulder of the tyre with huge heat build-up. We reduced the camber here, which we would have done anyway. Some of the teams felt it was a bit too aggressive a reduction but I think from what we've seen today it was quite right.
Q: There's speculation that you've suggested to the FIA that if teams don't respect your recommendations, their cars could be deemed to be of dangerous construction. Is that true?
We will discuss it with the FIA tonight. We do have the option of confirming our recommendations and saying that, guys, on this particular circuit we want you to adhere to this because whilst it is only a recommendation, if you go beyond it the chances of having more problems are much greater and it becomes a safety issue. This is Monza and the speeds here are very high, much higher than everywhere else, and we just want people to rein in their enthusiasm.
Q: What has been Charlie Whiting's response?
The Spa issue left us a bit perplexed, I guess is the best way to describe it - both ourselves and the FIA. We felt that on this type of circuit we probably needed to be a bit more, not aggressive but attentive. On a lot of circuits we do give a guideline where if people go slightly beyond it and they self-police, then that's not a problem. It's when it doesn't get self-policed that there's a concern. It is our name on the tyres. It's already enough of a challenge for us at somewhere like this. It's well known, whatever category you're racing in, to have tyre issues at Monza.
Q: Presumably then, the only way to regulate that is for the FIA to do its own camber checks after qualifying.
Yep. In parc ferme.
Q: And that's what will probably happen?