Vettel baffled by tyre failure


Whilst the Nico Rosberg / Lewis Hamilton incident grabbed the headlines, behind the scenes investigations continue as to why Sebastian Vettel's right-rear tyre exploded as the German was running second, evoking memories of Spa 2015.

While that incident was attributed to the German running wide and over debris, a claim initially repeated today when Pirelli tweeted: "Unfortunately, debris on the track caused the tyre problem for Vettel", it is now thought that this was not the case, with the Italian tyre manufacturer subsequently taking to social media to say: "Together with @ScuderiaFerrari we're looking into today's Vettel incident".

"With Ferrari we're fully investigating the incident on Sebastian Vettel's car, in order to finalize a cause," added Paul Hembery later.

The German, an outspoken critic of the tyre manufacturer following the Spa incident, remains baffled by the failure.

"There's a complete question mark why the tyre failed," said the German. "It was our decision to run long, it was clear that everybody had much more tyre life than expected going into the race. Nobody came in during the first ten laps.

"After all, 27 laps is not that much on that compound," he continued. "Kimi did more than 20 laps on the ultrasoft, there were other people who went longer on the supersoft.

"Out of nothing, the tyre exploded," he said. "There were no signs before that, everything was normal according to the guys on the pitwall, there was no change in pace from the lap before and I didn't go off anywhere."

Due to the damage to the tyre and the fact that virtually none of the tread survived, Pirelli faces a tough task finding the cause of the failure, and could therefore neither confirm or deny the debris theory, though this was looking less likely.

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Published: 03/07/2016
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