Hembery defends Pirelli following Vettel criticism

Paul Hembery admitted he was surprised Ferrari gambled on a one-stop strategy at Spa-Francorchamps, and defended Pirelli for the tyre failure that ultimately cost Sebastian Vettel a podium finish.

Vettel had lambasted Pirelli after the race, laying the blame for the failure purely at the tyre manufacturer, but Hembery insisted that pushing a tyre to the end of its wear life is always risking a problem.

“It was at the end of wear life,” said Hembery of Vettel’s tyre. “Any time in the world, when it gets to the end of its wear life then you’re going to have a problem.

“We thought the strategy was going to be based on two, three stops as you saw the majority do. They [Ferrari] felt clearly they could make it work on the one-stop.

“The wear life was indicated at around 40 laps, but it’s an indication. You don’t guarantee because it’s variable car-to-car, on the race conditions, race situation. Sometimes it’s not a precise data.

“Other teams were clearly taking a different direction, on two or three stop strategies, so that gives you an indication of where the majority were thinking.”