Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says he does not want to provoke an argument with tyre supplier after Sebastian Vettel's spectacular blowout in Sunday's race; insists one-stop strategy was planned with Pirelli's agreement
Thursday 27 August 2015 09:38, UK
Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari do not want to get involved in a "fight" with Pirelli after Sebastian Vettel's spectacular tyre failure in the closing stages of the Belgian GP.
Vettel was running third with less than two laps to go in Sunday's race when his car's right-rear tyre exploded just after he passed through Raidillon corner. It was the second such failure of the weekend, after Nico Rosberg's during Friday practice.
The two blowouts have re-opened debate about the durability of Pirelli's tyres and, by extension, the notion that they are deliberately designed to wear in order to provoke pit stops and provide entertainment.
If the line between providing entertainment and ensuring safety is a fine one then it was obvious where Vettel stood afterwards. Angrily branding the situation as "unacceptable", the four-times world champion then made a hasty departure from Spa.
Pirelli's point of contention was that Ferrari had attempted to run one set of tyres for 29 laps on a track that places more stress on them than just about any circuit on the calendar.
Arrivabene, however, tried to calm the situation after the race. "I don't want to start with this story back and forward - 'Maurizio said about Pirelli, Pirelli said about Ferrari' et cetera et cetera," the team principal said. "Now the race is gone I understand the reason why, as you understand, why Seb was disappointed.
"I don't want to open any kind of fight."
Even so, Pirelli have smashed the ball firmly back towards the teams and the FIA by saying they wanted a mandatory limit placed on tyre mileage - 50 per cent of a race distance for the prime and 30 per cent for the option - two years ago, but that the proposal was rejected.
Speaking afterwards, Pirelli motorsport manager Paul Hembery expressed surprise that Ferrari had attempted to make one set of tyres last so long.
However, Arrivabene defended the decision and said it had been decided beforehand with the agreement of the Pirelli engineer Ferrari use.
"The strategy was absolutely right, with one stop, and I want to clear that up immediately," he said.
"It was our strategy, Plan A, I mean the main plan before the race. So we decide that at 11 o'clock this morning.
"The strategy normally - even if aggressive - is based on clear data that you have, so you're not so stupid or crazy to take a risk for the driver.
"All the teams have an engineer from Pirelli and what do you think that engineer is doing? I mean, he's not there to eat chewing gum; he's there to check the tyres, to follow all that we are doing and to give the data to the team."
Of Vettel's disappointment, Arrivabene added: "When you are one and a half laps [away] and you can see the third position on the podium and you're going to lose it suddenly, I mean of course you are disappointed."