Tyre politics

The Formula One Group does not make many statements. And when they do it is usually relating to something that is important to the sport. Thus, the issuing of a press release on Thursday regarding Pirelli tyres indicates that Pirelli is mightily pissed off with the way that F1 has been treating it. The company, you may recall, came in for a bunch of flak two years ago when Red Bull wanted the tyres changed to suit their cars. There were some tyre blow-outs at Silverstone and Pirelli was forced to change the construction o the tyres – and Red Bull won everything for the rest of the year. After that Pirelli went quiet, supplied harder tyres and waited for F1 to come begging for more performance, to make the racing more interesting. The fact that the same sort of thing is happening again now, underlines the fact that Pirelli is weary with the criticism. You cannot really blame the Italian firm because it has been encouraged from the start to provide tyre compounds that have performance limitations which allow tyre degradation to play a part in the races, which creates a challenge for the teams and better racing for the fans.

“When doing so, Pirelli provides strong guidance to competitors about any performance limitations of the tyres supplied,” the Formula One group said. “Competitors should heed Pirelli’s expert advice when setting their race strategy and tactics, and if they do not, it is at their own risk. We are entirely satisfied that Pirelli was not at fault for any tyre-related incidents during the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.”

This is a very public slap down for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, who have been making a song and dance about the German’s tyre failure in Belgian.

“Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tyres to last for an entire event,” the statement said. “While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting. Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!”

Or to put it another way: “Hang in there, chaps, we’ll smack down the uppity members of the F1 community.”

Get the message Seb?

118 thoughts on “Tyre politics

  1. Was there advice not heeded by Ferrari? I thought 40 laps was the limit that Pirelli quoted, and that the Pirelli engineer embedded with Ferrari raised no concerns with the Ferrari strategy.

    1. So far, like Thyssen, I have felt that Pirelli has been all over the place in trying to manage this débâcle.

      Having read the release from Formula One Group, I obviously now revise my views in the light of its eloquent, pure logic.

      He loved Big Brother

    2. the tyres were good for 40 laps on the track,not 40 laps with four wheels off track every time Seb went through Radillion, Pirellis investigation suggests there was enough tread on the tyre left so it wasnt a wear problem and the strategy could have worked.

      The problem was a cut on the tyre down to the canvas which weakened the structure, where that cut was picked up who knows, but consistently hitting the kerbs, and sawtooth kerbs are notorious for collecting carbon shards which are next to impossible to completely remove and also consistently exceeding track limits, is it really any wonder the tyre picked up debris which led to its failure ?

      it reminds me of what was often said about why Jean Alesi kept having mechanical retirements from races, and notably Monza (that being this tenuos link) when in the lead in a Ferrari, because he kept attacking the kerbs every lap of the race, and then would be baffled when the suspension eventually failed.

      1. Last time I checked, we in the U.S. speak English. while we have changed the spelling of certain words, such as “harbor” from “harbour”, respect for the mother tongue should always be adhered to.

        1. See my reply to RShack below – you speak a sort of English. English, that is the real English one, has evolved, including the spelling. Americans speak a sort of olde worlde English, quite quaint really.

      2. Joe with all the criticism Pirelli have received how much criticism how much time will have elapsed in terms of years before they say au revoir to F1?

        1. I am surprised they’re still in it, to be honest. After the Silverstone issues a couple of years back, it was revealed that many teams were running tyres the wrong way round and with cambers and pressures well beyond those recommended by the supplier. But most of the media reported it as ‘dangerous tyres’… Look at it this way… If I fired a gun the wrong way round, I expect I would be (at best) badly hurt. Same sort of thing is true of racing cars, and especially F1 cars – they are at the absolute limit of performance, and if you mess around with what the manufacturer recommends, you’ll be in trouble. When Pirelli gave their ‘more or less 40 laps’ advice, there was a ‘sausage’ kerb at Radillion that would have prevented drivers short-cutting what is one of the most extreme corners in F1. Once removed, Maldonado was able to run over the corner and screw his car with a 17g vertical impact. If such an impact can break an F1 gearbox, it seems pretty obvious to me that the tyres might similarly suffer. Do a one-stopper in such circumstances and you’re really asking for trouble. I will be interested to hear what Der Seb and Ferrari have to say this weekend.

          1. Sometimes I am not sure what I like the most about this blog. Is it the awesome reporting or the trips down the F1 memory lane or just amazingly funny comments!

            Thank you for this blog Joe

      3. I believe I am correct in saying that the OED changed the spelling of tire to tyre around 1920 after the USA dictionaries spelled it as tire…

          1. Donut, there’s no time or place for the extra letter’s in the drive-thru New World.

          2. Tire was actually spelt tire in England and the US. Then gradually the misspelling tyre took hold in England. An event which has been described as ‘an example of British academics losing a battle against the uneducated’. Which sums up the UK in many ways.

        1. We British like to keep our proper spellings in order to beat you lot at the best of all American inventions: Scrabble. ‘Thru’ is a terrible score. ‘Through’ usually lands you on a double.

          1. Is that why you abandoned the original and correct “soccer” and surrendered to French sporting hegemony’s “football”? For a few measly Scrabble points?

            Longue vie à la reine :-0

              1. Joe, we like your light hearted word puns, don’t let these comments keep you from that. Else we might get board…

            1. We use both in the UK – soccer also used, nothing to do with the French, who, by the way, pronounce it differently at the end. The English language has evolved, American English hasn’t, that’s why you spell things oddly.

              No need to insult our Queen who, by the way, will soon become the longest serving monarch ever. She’s known quite a few ‘here today gone tomorrow’ presidents by the way.

              1. No disrespect to the Queen… she seems a lovely person… I was simply wishing her well in French, much as the Brits refer to their very own invention, soccer, in the same way 😉

                We Americans adopted “soccer” from the English. Sadly, many Brits don’t realize this and think “soccer” is some American abuse of the language.

                Given that you had both soccer and rugby on hand, it was only sensible that you called neither of them “football”. You did the right thing.

                It’s my understanding that “soccer” fell into disfavor in the UK after the Brits subscribed to FIFA and abandoned their own superior name for the sport in favor of more ambiguous the French term.

    1. At least the Pirelli’s didn’t catch on fyre. A blow out is one thing, but turning an F1 car into a funeral pire would have been much much more dyre.

      F1 hyred them to do a difficult job. They’re walking a tightrope wyre between performance and safety. Anybody who says otherwise is either a fool or a lyar.

      And now they’ve got Seb dragging their name through the muck and the myre…

    1. No more invitations for someone to Princes Gate for backgammon, then.

      I wonder how Uncle B will bond with the current world champion — backgammon seems a little sedate for Lewis…

        1. Ha ha true CR. Well perhaps to the blokes, at least the majority in any case. Not sure that Carmen Jorda would be too interested in the ‘pretty girls’ and neither apparently is….er no never mind!

          What’s interesting to me is why Bernie is so keen to keep Pirelli? There must be a strong reason, presumably financial, or is it a tussle with Jean Todt who wants Michelin. I know you’ve covered this Joe but can you shed any further light on just why Bernie is prepared to issue a rare press release to fight Pirelli’s corner and keep them on board?

    1. If the cars were running within the track limits (as opposed to over kerbing at close to 200mph) and debris was not an issue, they were expected to last ‘about’ 40 laps. Seb was beyond the track limits many, many times during the race, and for him to say he wasn’t is clearly erroneous, at best. The loadings at Spa are enormous, and hitting the ideal target is dependent on driving in an ideal fashion, which Seb (no matter what he says) did not. The Pirelli statement said nothing that was, to me, not entirely self-evident if you watched the race. I am surprised they have put up with it for this long, to be honest. I’m with Pirelli on this one.

  2. Has anyone actually shown that pitstops improve racing? So far it’s just someone’s assumption without any back up. Also, isn’t that the reason why they got rid of refuelling? It was to eliminate pitstops and see more passing on the track.

    1. Refuelling rigs were expensive and mid-race refuelling was always time-pressured and caused a number of potentially terrifying incidents.

      1. That was some background justification, but the real reason they ditched refuelling was because it made the races boring and predictable. Fastest car fuelled a little heavy, went a few laps further than everyone, undercut everyone ahead and then went on to win. This was how Schumacher decimated everyone in the early 00s.

        Boring racing was what they were championing at the time, not safety or cost… But then they couldn’t make up their minds and kept the mandatory tire stop.

    2. “a race with no pit stops would be less exciting”
      Not “racing”.
      The “race” is the whole event. Racing is part of it. We also have pit-stops. The suggestion is that racing and pits stops makes for a more exciting race than racing alone.

      1. That’s nice.

        So has anyone proven that pit stops make a race more exciting?

        We haven’t had a pitstop-free F1 race since 1993. Since then we’ve had refuelling and then enforced hard/soft compounds with an effectively mandatory pitstop. The closest we got was Alonso switching tires after the first lap at Monaco years ago, and running to the end. Also, did anyone else notice that complaints about passing arose in the 90s?

        Maybe if we ditched pitstops altogether, we would be spared of boring undercuts. Then we’d only have to live with boring DRS drive-by passes until the FIA wises up and cuts that gimmick.

        I prefer the uncertainty of a battle than the certainty of a pitstop undercut or DRS drive-by. I remember when “catching him is one thing, but passing is another” was accurate.

  3. A disastrous decision by Ferrari to leave Vettel out on old tyres. They have cost Vettel any shot at the Driver’s Championship. (Look at the points prior to the race.)
    Reminds me of Massa in Singapore in 2008 which definitely cost him the World Title – sent out of pits by Ferrari with fuel hose attached.

  4. Hang on a minute! There’s a world of difference between a tyre losing its performance and one delaminating so as to endanger participants. Vettel is entitled to his view that a tyre should retain its integrity for a mere 35 laps. And since when do pit stops enhance the racing? What could possibly be more artificial than to stop racing, go into a garage, change wheels – and all because the tyres have deliberately been made NOT fit to last the race!

      1. My god, since when do kerbs cut tires? I’ve avoided kerbs so as not to upset the balance of the car, used kerbs to intentionally upset the balance of the car, avoided kerbs to retain downforce, used kerbs to straight-line chicanes, and avoided kerbs to preserve the drivetrain or suspension. Never once has tire failure factored into that. It’s insane to think that, and anyone insisting that hitting kerbs increases risk has had too much Pirelli Kool Aid.

  5. The advertising revenue FOM garner from Pirelli and the possibility of it disappearing if Pirelli were to tuck their tail and run must be causing some angst. More fool Pirelli anyway for playing along with FOM.
    Excitement? Even in the boring old days of Ferrari/Schu and Bridgestone’s bullet proof tyres I still glued myself to the box every broadcast. (Just like today 🙂

  6. Matt Sommers wrote an amazing (technical) article on this issue. His conclusion was in line with FOM and Pirelli. Off track excursions, overloading of the tire, and likely debris are responsible for the failure. In other words, Seb did it to himself and needs to shut up.

    Thanks for your insight Joe. First time commenting and but I read every post and have my subscription to GP+.

      1. Matt Sommerfield, good technical writer. Gave a very thorough analysis of what happened at Spa and it’s pretty much what Pirelli said in their statement.

      2. If you search ‘Matt Sommers F1’ you ought to find the first link will take you to his blog – he provides a niche market of highly technical F1 content. AFAIK, he’s not an accredited journalist but works on his blog 20+ hours a week alongside his 60 hour a week day job.. I believe he has freelanced for a number of F1 sites but is at heart an enthusiast who simply has a passion for the technical side of the sport.

          1. He seems pretty well clued up, not sure what his background and experience is, but definitely one of the better technical writers out there, I feel. Your blog and his are generally the first things I look at when I get me Interwebs out.

          2. Having a passion for isn’t the same as doing it for a living.

            I’m passionate about music as are several of my friends. Other friends are pro musicians as is my wife. The differences of capability and understanding are very clear

            1. Doing it for a living doesn’t necessarily make them any good at it either… I’ve had the pleasure of working with some PhD engineers in F1 who couldn’t tell you the difference between a c/head and a c/sunk, or where to use +/- tolerancing. However, give them a coffee and something to “click”, and they’re right there.

            2. Having come from an engineering background myself, the manner in which Matt approaches various topics gives me the sense that his knowledge is based on a deep technical understanding. He has (very rarely as he doesn’t like raining on other’s parades) corrected so called ‘experts’ who have been unable to refute his points.

      3. My apologies, I double tapped the “M”. It’s Matt Somers.

        Do you have a go-to for info on tech side (aside to the engineers themselves which I don’t have access to)? I love your blog for the politics and ongoings in the F1 world but I’m also fascinated by all of the new updates that arrive every race weekend.

  7. I have forgotten when the tender results for tyre supplier will be announced (if indeed the process means much) – is this an assertion of their position or a pure defence?

  8. Perhaps he should be retrospectively reprimanded for not presenting himself for the weight check. He was too busy bad mouthing Pirelli.

    He apologised and was forgiven by the Belgian Stewards, who, as we know, have had some previous aberrations,

  9. Tyres ‘lasting the whole race’ is not the same as ‘performance lasting the whole race’.

    As long as NOT meeting the latter requires two pit-stops to stay in contention and the former ENSURES no catastrophic failures then the racing will be exciting – as long as Red Bull get Mercedes power units.

  10. I still think their confussion with the messages after the GP on how the tyres were supposed to last, and how long they were supposed to last, left them in a bad position. Vettel had all the right to complain, and if you’re sure of what you’re doing, you just say “We’ll investigate and then publish the results”.

    All the rest is just a circus.

  11. So I assume we can expect a public apology from Vettel for his outburst and bringing F1 into disrepute?

    Seem to remember a F1 driver been fined by the FIA a number of years ago for something similar.

      1. When it’s uncalled for, yes please. We don’t need this kind of petulance from a 4-time World Champion do we? He’s senior in terms of results, though clearly not in maturity.

    1. Even if Vettel has underplayed his own role in the tyre delamination, he has a point about how dangerous it is if they let go at those speeds. I’m not a huge fan of his, but he’s a smart guy who takes his responsibility as a leader seriously.
      He has some history with disliking Pirelli, but he’s pointing out something that many drivers have long disliked about the current tyre construction, how it fails and how often. Pirelli will react to that, and have had some backing from the Formula One Group to mitigate the bad press.
      All in all a good result I would have thought, in no small part due to SV having his say.

    1. Mr Goodyear (father of vulcanization?) and Mr. Firestone spelled it with an “I”. Just twisting your tail Sid. Shouldn’t matter to anyone, eh?

  12. There’s nothing wrong with Seb speaking his mind, even if he is wrong.
    Seb does not fall in to the category of the ‘soundbite; on message driver’

    Still puzzled at his comments at Monaco this year and the alleged issue with the gender of the grid location operatives?

  13. This is beside the point, but I have a problem with the part in the FIA statement that says that a “race with no pit-stops would be less exciting”. Well, that isn’t the way it should be for me. Excitement and action should come from overtaking and great driving, not through enforced pit-stops.

    I’ve always felt that pit-stops are external elements brought in to spice up the action, which is why I’ve never been a fan of these degrading tyres rule and the mandatory pit-stop enforcement. If aerodynamics are altered to bring down the influence of dirty air on the following car, if the front wing is removed of its complexities and made a lot simpler we can have all the action on the track.

    In the formative years of Grand Prix racing pit-stops were a necessity. But now technology has reached the point where cars can last for an entire race without having to change tyres. So enforcing pit-stops through purposely degrading tyres seems like a gimmick to me.

    I wonder why Pirelli agreed to such an arrangement. That said, they have done an amazing job to give what F1 wanted all through these years.

    1. All tyres degrade, Pirelli have been employed to provide ones with particular degradation characteristics.

      Tyre changes weren’t allowed in the 2005 season. Guess what, everyone complained about it…and the rule was dropped after a single year.

  14. I think that pretty much every driver uses the kerns at pretty much every corner to some extent: they are deemed legitimate parts of the circuit.
    As a consequence, the tyres should be capable of handling the attrition they receive from continually being driven over them.
    Given the current debate around closed cockpits because of the recent spate of head injuries and fatalities, perhaps we should be considering the potential outcome of Nico and Seb’s accidents at Spa and be thankful that neither was injured.
    Perhaps we should instigate a debate about what constitutes the track instead… Or, if we accept that the track includes kerbs, then ensure that the tyres are competent… To hell with the show, I don’t want drivers dead…

  15. It would seem that baby Seb does not like to lose just like his protege. Maybe he could learn a thing or two from his teammate and just shut up and race. Or, like his protege he could figure out ways to silently gain advantages. Some might call it unfair advantages. Some might call it cheating.

  16. At the end of the day, I could see Vettel’s tires going off 5 laps before it happened. It really did not come as a surprise.

    If it was that obvious to a layman like me, I seriously doubt Ferrari never saw it coming.

      1. I don’t think you guys understand what freedom of speech means. It means you don’t go to jail. It does not mean you’re immune from criticism for saying something foolish to the press…

  17. All the focus here is on Vettel. However what is forgotten is that Rosberg was only a few laps into his race sim on the soft tyre. Also, I doubt Rosberg was as aggressive over the kerbs as Vettel was. I remain to be convinced about Pirelli’s explanations although have great sympathy for them as all they are trying to do is help F1.

  18. Us old git remember when we used to have tyres that lasted the whole race. It often made the end of the race a game of skill and delicacy, with some front runners passed as their grip disappeared in the final laps. Those who managed their tyre wear usually won.

    We used to have overtaking then too.

    1. Jack Brabham did all of practice, qualifying and F 1 race on one set of tyres and then used them for the next races practice…………………

  19. Am I alone in thinking that great drivers took gambles on tyres and that’s what it made them so special? Why critizise so much a big driver trying to make his gamble pay off?

  20. I’m astounded that Pirelli want to keep going with F1, given the amount of nonsense that gets chucked their way.

    They were brought in with the express instruction of having tyres that degrade quickly to make drivers have to repeatedly stop for a change. This was because the races were processional under Bridgestone.

  21. Joe, concerning tyres again, I was actually shocked to hear Seb swearing on the BBC coverage at Spa, not because I’m delicate flower, but because it wasn’t very grown up of him, children are watching, lack respect towards the BBC reporter (who was trapped – luckily it was recorded and not live, bad luck Sebastian, so it was bleeped although he wouldn’t have known this at the time) and, finally – I thought bad language was banned in ‘public’ by the FIA and FOM since his last outburst at the podium a year or so back? Sure he was hot and bothered, but I think he needs to be made aware that using ‘F’ words in English in public doesn’t make him look ‘one the boys’ but betrays his lack finesse with the language – which is a pity because he is probably the best English- speaking driver, who’s not English, out there. Naughty boy, let himself down.

    As it turns out, as your article says it all.

    1. Ref:

      “he needs to be made aware that using ‘F’ words in English in public doesn’t make him look ‘one the boys’ but betrays his lack finesse with the language”

      Sorry, this is very patronising and your view from the island (where swearing on TV is actually a norm. Children also do it btw, as do their parents). A simpler and better argument could be to simply say that SV was unprofessional.

      SV is virtually on a native speaker level. Give credit where it´s due to people working in a 2nd language. Some of the 2nd language F1 drivers are outstanding communicators, SV, FA, NR for example. Not always true of native speakers.

      1. I did actually praise Seb for his English, that wasn’t really my point Martin. Obviously the BBC expect him to swear in live interviews which is why it was recorded and bleeped. He was admonished before for swearing on the podium, why not here? He’s a clever guy, he knew what he was doing, but yes, it was also unprofessional. Did he swear on German live TV I wonder? (The swearing you hear on TV is after the watershed in the UK withstanding that it’s possible to watch post watershed programmes during the day on, say, i-player. It’s up parents to control – I won’t go into that debate). Otherwise I agree with you, but I was wrong – Nico Rosberg is probably the best English-speaking driver.

  22. If the Spa race and result weren’t dull enough, imagine how dull it would have been if Seb came out of the Ferrari garage and said “I am sorry Pirelli, it was all my fault and no reflection on your great tyres.”

    1. Actually, if he said exactly that, with a bit of attitude in his tone, it would have made for just as many headlines and got the same message across. I would have died laughing too!

    2. It would have been better had Vettel either maintained a dignified silence, or, whilst expressing his concern, left the matter open so that it could be investigated properly. Instead, he chose to open his mouth with a string of expletives on live TV, and he’s ended up looking a bit of a pillock. Not before time has he received a slap down.

  23. Ok, so all and sundry are getting their knickers in a twist over cockpit safety provisions….i.e to have or have not, cockpit canopies…..so, safety is so paramount, but rubbish tyres ( or tires ) are fine?? I really don’t understand some people at all!
    By the way, back in the good old dino days of my youth, single seaters had vestigial windscreens, why can’t raised windscreens of tough, see through material be fitted? That would surely eliminate the difficulties of covered cockpits, as any objects hitting the sloped screen would be jettisoned off?

    1. Not F1 enough these days Damian! It’d be too cheap… besydes, someone would neeyd to invent transparent carbon fibre/er or tytaniyum.

  24. And having just watched FP2 we are in for another boring one-stop race, the drivers are hitting kerbs and there are no limits from Pirelli.

    A mandated minimum two-stop would liven up otherwise boring races at Monaco, Canada and Monza. But the FIA, FOM never do the bleeding obvious.

  25. In particular, I am pleased that Vettel has finally received a public slapdown for his unsightly tantrums when things don’t go his way. 2013 was, in my view, a disgrace of a season. A string of races won by one driver and team after a tyre change in their favour. They reached for the trophies whilst we reached for the off switch on the TV. When Vettel started bleating about the tyres again I honestly began to think: “Oh no, here we go again, the next step Ferrari will be wanting the tyre compounds changed to their advantage as Red Bull did in 2013.” I’m so please the metaphorical 2 fingered salute has been given. Well done Formula One group – I didn’t think you had it in you.

  26. Watched practice at Monza and the usual suspects – mainly Ferrari and Red Bull, but others also, are all four wheels off track at several corners. There does not seem to be many high kerbs here, but that’s where debris will accumulate, so apart from the cheating, for that is what it is, the risk of impact damage is high. Hope the CofC penalises the miscreants in qualifying and the race, as if not, they will think they can get away with it and when a sudden deflation occurs it will be somebody elses fault again! A great saying in the US is – “no whining”, Seb and Co should heed this.

  27. So many comments; so much certainty. Two things come to mind: Moss, Argentina 1958 – finishes on the canvas. Mansell, Australia 1986 – tyre explodes (video of both on Youtube).

    I don’t think there’s any certainty.

  28. Joe

    Mercedes have today unleashed a little of their latent potential. Is this to demonstrate their value in the ongoing negotiations with whomever.


  29. Interesting reports that Pirelli issues three changes to the minimum pressure for this weekend? Something like +5psi, +4Psi then + 3 psi? That’s quite some variation if true and why would it be needed if the tyre construction is ok?

  30. I don’t get the argument about Vettel abusing his equipment. Is he the only one who uses the kerbs and who puts wheels over the line? I think not! The issue of track limits is in terms of the rules of racing, another issue, but it cannot be that only SV should expect tyre failure when everyone else drives similarly. I am all for a method of enforcing track limits [without more infuriating drive through-type penalties) by introducing a low-friction area of tarmac on the periphery, rather as I think Jackie Stewart suggested….

  31. I struggle to understand why Pirelli stay in F1.
    Pirelli’s charter was to create a tyre which performance decreases as races progress.
    The only publicity they get is bad, when a tyre fails.
    I say they are producing exactly what they were asked to provide…..I would hate to see a Mercedes with bulletproof tyres.

  32. The emerging investigation on tyre pressures leads me to an opinion. If a team infringes the rules, even by a little bit is a safety risk. There is no wriggle room here. So to my horror for Mercedes and the drivers I would disqualify the cars from the race, impose a punitive fine on the team (maybe £5,000,000) and miss the next race. That would send an unambiguous message to all the teams that flouting safety rules is punishable by draconian measures and will give the drivers who are concerned about tyres that their safety is paramount. I think that this would be patently unfair to Lewis as a driver but rules are there and there cannot be any latitude on issues such as this one. His team “attempted a cover-up by trying to increase the tyre temp in the last few laps by telling Lewis to go faster, Ferrari it would appear complied to the pressure rule and it “stinks” that both Lewis and Niko’s same tyre ( the one that would have gained by under inflation) were under inflated!! Who would have imagined that the New England Patriots disease might have travelled to Monza!!

    1. Give the fact that a ‘slam dunk’ turned into ‘revised procedures’ it seems much more likely that the FIA delegate who took the pressure reading made such a ‘horlicks’ of it that Nico’s actual 19.5 reading was recorded as 18.4. It doesn’t matter how calibrated the instrument was if the person using it doesn’t know what there doing. Why didn’t the FIA let Pirelli take the measurement?, Arrogance?, hasty made up test?. Was it a co-incidence that Todt decided to grace F1 with a grid walk that day?

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