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FIA: Tire changes for safety reasons, not to reduce stops

May 17, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day Two Getty Images

The FIA has entered the on-going tire debate by stating that any changes made by Pirelli will be to ensure the safety of the drivers, not to improve the quality of racing by reducing the number of stops.

Pirelli, who has supplied the sport with its tires since 2011, confirmed in the aftermath of the Spanish Grand Prix that they would be making changes to the compounds in order to reduce the number of stops. Paul Hembery claimed that the optimum four-stop strategy was “too many”, making it difficult for the fans to follow. Despite protests from Ferrari and Lotus, the matter appeared to be over, and a new design would be introduced at the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, the FIA has today confirmed that the changes are not intended to reduce the number of stops, but instead reduce the number of tire failures. In Spain, many drivers suffered punctures which, at high speed, could be very dangerous.

“Discussions between the FIA and Pirelli are ongoing regarding the tyre failures and making changes to prevent them happening again,” an FIA source told Autosport. “These talks do not involve the subject of degradation or the number of pitstops.”

Therefore, one would imagine that the changes made would be minor, despite many fans expecting a drastic change in the behavior of tires. However, with driver safety paramount, this move will hopefully reduce the chances of a puncture, although it remains to be seen just how great the changes are and quite what impact they have on the racing.

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