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Salo defends Pirelli after Rosberg blowout

Alan McNish (Right)
Mika Salo (left)
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Full range of Pirelli F1 tyres

Former F1 driver Mika Salo has defended the sport's official tyre supplier Pirelli, after the latest round of negativity surrounding the Italian marque.

After its tumultuous 2013 season, including a barrage of criticism and questions about the quality of its tyres, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg suffered a high-speed blowout during testing of a 2014 prototype recently in Bahrain.

The news triggered another round of speculation about Pirelli's place in F1, moving the Milan company to officially declare that the "safety" of its tyres for 2014 "is not in question".

But former Ferrari and Sauber driver Salo said the latest criticism was not justified.

"The drivers were testing prototype tyres," he told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3. "They knew what they were doing.

"It's right that they fall apart in the testing rather than in the grands prix," added Salo.

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