Paul Di Resta on Friday became the fourth casualty this year to have an issue with the rubber, with the Scot losing the tread on the left rear tyre of his Force India in second practice ahead of today’s Spanish Grand Prix.
It brought an early end to Di Resta’s session at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, forcing Pirelli into another investigation as to the cause, with the outcome appearing to be a debris-induced cut.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has no concerns with regard to the safety aspect, but appreciates from a visual point of view the incidents so far are not a good reflection on the Italian company.
“As a consequence of this year having a much more resistant belt pack made of very-high-tensile steel, it’s very hard for any object to penetrate,” said Hembery, speaking to PA Sport.
He added: “So with the few incidents we’ve had this year, which is not exactly higher in terms of statistics compared to previous seasons, the mode of failure has changed.
Last year the tyre would have deflated completely and dropped down on the wheel, which is a failure people are more accustomed to seeing — but which is equally not as nice.
This year the tyre is remaining inflated and the weak point becomes the tread, so when you get a cut it heats up and then goes away in one piece.”