PIRELLI expressed concern last night at an alarming tyre failure suffered by Force India’s Paul Di Resta in Spanish Grand Prix practice.
The tread came off the Scot’s still inflated left rear tyre in second practice but Di Resta was able to bring the car safely to a halt. With drivers expressing safety concerns, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said the Italian company would investigate the issue.
“It obviously doesn’t look pretty when you’ve the tread coming away like that,” he told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya. “Last year if we had failures it tended to collapse the tyre on to the rim so it still didn’t look good. This year we are seeing the tread coming away so visually it looks rubbish. I don’t like that. We’re looking at it and seeing if there are things we can do to eliminate it.”
Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap in practice with Ferrari’s local favourite Fernando Alonso a close second to split the Red Bull drivers.
With sunshine replacing the morning’s drizzle, when Alonso was top of the timesheets with a largely meaningless lap of one minute 25.252 seconds on a drying track, Vettel produced a quickest time of 1:22.808. Alonso was second, 0.017 slower, with Australian Mark Webber third with a best lap of 1:22.891.
“Overall, we can be happy with today,” said Vettel. “This morning was a waste of time. This afternoon was fairly conclusive. In terms of pace we are there or thereabouts with the top guys.”