x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pirelli want F1's red flag rules changed after fizzled end to Monaco GP

The Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery suggests the sport should look into preventing cars from changing to fresh tyres after a race is halted.

Formula One has benefited from their new tyre supplier Pirelli this season.
Formula One has benefited from their new tyre supplier Pirelli this season.

MONTE CARLO // Formula One should change the rules to prevent drivers being allowed to put fresh tyres on their cars if a race is halted like yesterday's Monaco Grand Prix, the Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has suggested.

Fans watching the glamour highlight of the season were robbed of a thrilling finale when the race was red flagged with six laps remaining and Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel hotly pursued by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren-Mercedes' Jenson Button.

When it resumed 21 minutes later, Vettel had new tyres and led comfortably to the checkered flag.

"I can understand there is a safety consideration but I am thinking about it more from a fans' perspective to be honest," Hembery told autosport.com.

"I've had a lot of people shout at me from the boats around the harbour and say, why were they allowed to change? It took away something from the race — and the big question was could they [the tyres] have lasted?

"That is what we were all asking with six laps to go and that was going to be the excitement: would Sebastian hit the cliff [of tyre degradation]?"

Hembery said the race distance remained unchanged and, like the fans, was disappointed with the finale.

"I don't really understand why they are allowed to change tyres, but maybe I am missing something," he said.

"I think it was a bit of a shame with the red flag of course, because if they hadn't changed the tyres, then they would have had to fight to the end as they were all on different strategies, and the tyre wear and life was very different."