Josh’s Blog – July 2013

Josh Smith blog entry

MVT_Car-whiteWelcome to my July blog. Following on from last months blog, the Mercedes GP tyre test situation has reached a conclusion with both Mercedes and Pirelli being reprimanded by the FIA for the test, with Mercedes also being banned from the young driver test coming up after the German GP. Both Ferrari and Red Bull have been vocal with regards to the outcome, with both teams not feeling the punishment is severe enough.

Continuing with Pirelli, the series of tyre failures at the Silverstone GP weekend continue to trouble both the tyre manufacturer and the teams. During the weekend there were numerous rear tyre failures that led to calls for Pirelli to review the construction and manufacture of the tyres. Luckily no severe damage or accidents occurred during the failures but it could have caused a number of catastrophes. Since the race weekend, Pirelli have announced that the rear tyres reinforcement belts will be made from a Kevlar composite rather than steel. In light of this, the FIA have also allowed teams to use their current race drivers at the young driver test to not only test the tyres durability but also to analyse how the tyre construction change will alter the handling and performance of the cars.

At the end of June was an event that is rarely publicised in the UK, the Pikes Peak Hill climb. This well-known event was won by 9 times WRC champion Sebastian Loeb in a Peugeot and he managed a time of 8 minutes 13 seconds. The now all-tarmac climb brought a wide range of vehicles including an electric car category.

We also had the 24 Hour Le Mans race which was won by Audi once again, another great historic event that everyone should experience. However, the event was marred by the passing of Allan Simonsen in the Aston Martin after an accident in the early part of the race. This was followed up by the tragic death of Andrea Mame in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race at Paul Ricard. Incidents like this show just how dangerous Motorsport can be, even with all of todays modern safety advancements.

Closer to home and to finish, some interest for students should be the up and coming Formula Student 2013 event which is being held at Silverstone from 4th to 7th July where engineers of the future will compete against each other with their cars to win one of the most prestigious student motorsport prizes available. Good luck to all!