LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One’s sole tire supplier Pirelli has changed its compounds for next month’s Brazilian Grand Prix after reassessing the state of new asphalt laid at Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit.
The original choice of hard and medium tire was criticized by Brazilian driver Felipe Massa last weekend as potentially dangerous.
However Pirelli said the decision to switch to medium and soft tire had been prompted by recent resurfacing and agreed at a meeting of the sport’s tire working group.
“We’ve always said that we would be open to any changes if they were required,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.
“After further technical analysis of the impact of the revised circuit surface, together with a risk assessment suggesting a low probability of compound overheating due to extreme track temperatures, we have made this change with the unanimous agreement of all 11 teams.”
The decision means that the hard tire, last used during the wet Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka that ended with Frenchman Jules Bianchi’s horrific crash, will not be seen again this season.
Massa, who shares the same manager as Bianchi and is a friend of the critically injured Marussia driver, had expressed concern about using the hard tire in Brazil where conditions can also be cold and wet at this time of year.
“Dangerous, very dangerous,” he told reporters at last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, explaining that the hard tire might not provide enough grip in certain circumstances.
“I have no idea why they chose medium and hard and it’s completely unacceptable.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis