Pirelli was brought into a fresh Formula 1 controversy as Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was involved in a 200mph tyre failure.
The German tweeted: "Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight because my tyre blew up without warning." "Thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now." He quickly deleted the tweet.
Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari were all in Bahrain testing Pirelli's tyres for the 2014 season. Pirelli wanted the tests to help with development work on the tyres due to the dramatic rule changes coming into play for the next Formula 1 season, starting in March.
They are concerned that greater torque in the cars' turbo engines will put more pressure on the tyres and are keen to avoid the tyre problems which plagued the first half of the Formula 1 season, particularly the British GP.
A Pirelli statement said: "The tyre tests in Bahrain regarded a number of prototypes, which were completely innovative in terms of structure and compounds, with the aim of developing the most suitable solutions for the next season.
"This morning Nico Rosberg's Mercedes was fitted with one of these prototypes, a tyre which had only been tested in the laboratory and which will not be proposed again.
"Thus, the safety of the tyres which will be supplied for the next championship is not in question.
"The accident which happened to Rosberg's car is being investigated and the findings will be communicated to the FIA and the teams."
Pirelli's defensive attitude came about because the FIA, Formula 1's governing body, had an understanding with the tyre manufacturer that safety testing would occur in rigs instead of tracks whilst durability and performance testing would occur on tracks themselves. Pirelli has complained that his makes its job impossible.
Nico Rosberg himself will be hoping, along with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, to build on last season's results as Rosberg picked up two wins and three pole positions as the Mercedes project gathered steam.
The FIA will be expecting an explanation for the tyre failure.
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