F1 introduces emergency safety measures for Qatar Grand Prix amid fears of tire failure


Analysis of Pirelli rubber after the first day at Losail showed evidence of sidewall separation between the top rubber and carcass cords.

A statement from the FIA ​​said the problem could lead to a loss of air if the tires are used too much.

Initial indications are that the problem is caused by a new curb design being built by Qatar for this weekend’s event.

“The problem is likely caused by high-frequency interference between the tire sidewalls and the 50mm ‘pyramid’ curbs widely used on this track, which is exacerbated by the tendency to ride on these curbs,” ” explained the governing body.

The issue was enough to worry the FIA, prompting it to urgently adjust Saturday’s schedule and schedule extra practice sessions to assess the situation.

The FIA ​​said in a statement that it was taking a series of measures to avoid the possibility of problems during the race.

It explained that track restrictions for Turns 12 to 13 will be modified and an extra 10-minute familiarization session will take place at 4pm on Saturday – pushing the start of Sprint Shootout qualifying back – to allow drivers to adapt. New track. law and order.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, in the pit lane

Photograph: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

The sprint shootout will begin at 4:20 p.m., 20 minutes later than scheduled.

Further analysis of the tires will be carried out after Saturday night’s sprint session to determine if more action is needed for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

If there are signs of further trouble then the FIA ​​could enforce maximum tire use on Sunday due to safety concerns.

This means that the tire life of new tires in the race must not exceed 20 laps, while for any old tires fitted in the race this number will rise to 22 laps to account for laps in and out of qualifying.

All drivers must also make at least three pit stops for tire changes during the race.

Ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, AlphaTauri rider Yuki Tsunoda expressed his concerns about the aggressive restrictions introduced this year.

“It’s a step between curb and off track,” he said. “It’s no problem driving on the curb, but once you step off the curb there’s a complete sliding effect.

“It’s not smooth at all, especially driving here, with such a high-speed curve and the low height of the car, it will be very difficult. I think even if it is just one time, the cost will be quite high.”

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