Some F1 drivers are sceptical as to whether new operating limits communicated by Pirelli following the tyre failures at Spa will have their desired effect.
Lewis Hamilton for one said that the tyre pressure aspect of the changes is “going to be a disaster”.
Pirelli’s investigation into the blowouts at Spa concluded that they were caused in part by cuts from debris. Nevertheless Pirelli communicated to drivers and teams that new higher limits to tyre pressures as well as stricter ones to cambers are to come into force for this Italian Grand Prix weekend.
Hamilton believes that the limits on tyre pressures are likely to backfire.
“I’d feel comfortable coming here and running what we had before,” he said in Monza, “we had [at Spa] a very difficult corner at Eau Rouge, here you don’t have that.
“In terms of putting the pressures up, personally I don’t think it’s the right way to go. I don’t think any of us have driven with 5psi more in the tyres because they’re not designed for 5psi more. We work in a range and that’s the optimum range.
“So we’ll be moving out of the optimum range of the tyre, which means we’ll be using a different part of the tyre so there’ll be more wear, less grip. It’s going to be a disaster.
“I hope that they don’t put 5psi more, a couple is OK.”
Both McLaren drivers also had some doubts about the changes, although both supported the move overall. Fernando Alonso said that “to have these kind of limits is quite strange. We never race or we never test with these kind of pressures or these kind of camber limitations or things like that. But I agree that they probably are necessity, the first thing is safety.”
His team mate Jenson Button took a similar view, describing the limits as “pretty scary – we’ve never run cars with this pressure before,” but added: “I understand why they [Pirelli] are doing it, we’re all thankful that they are immediately changing something and it should be better as you have less movement of the casing and sidewall”.
Later reports said that Pirelli had relaxed the limits slightly in response to the criticism.