Azerbaijani GP tire bursts: Pirelli begins investigation with drivers keen to find out what went wrong
Pirelli to conduct a full analysis of what happened to the left rear tires of Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll this week; Sky F1’s Damon Hill said the drivers were right to be concerned after the blowouts hit the Baku pit straight at 200 mph
Last updated: 06/07/21 11:32 AM
Damon Hill said F1 drivers would be concerned about high-speed tire failures during the Azerbaijani GP.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and race-leading Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered left-back failures on the hard compound within 16 laps of each other as they covered around 200 mph in the mammoth straight line of Baku.
Pirelli will conduct extensive investigations into the causes of the eruptions this week.
“Certainly the drivers are worried and they just might be because the circuit has some of the highest speeds – sustained high speeds – of any circuit we go to,” said Hill, the 1996 world champion, at Sky Sports News.
Pirelli boss Mario Isola said on Sunday evening that the manufacturer’s “first investigation” of the circuit into tire failures indicated that debris on the track was the possible cause.
However, he stressed that a more in-depth analysis will be done when they bring the tires back to their base in Italy later this week.
“The first surveys suggest debris because the left rear is not the most used tire on this circuit. It is the right rear; if we are talking about wear, it is the right front”, Pirelli F1 manager Isola told Sky Germany.
“So he’s in a position that doesn’t suggest anything special about the tires.
“The other point is that we found another cut on a left rear tire from another car which luckily didn’t cut the build. It was a left rear from Lewis, which was clearly a cut from debris.
Isola added: “When something like this happens, we have to collect information to understand what happened.”
‘This is not supposed to happen’
Sebastian Vettel, whose Aston teammate Martin Stroll was the first to crash, said the incidents happened “probably at the worst place of the year” on the calendar.
“Obviously I was on the safer side because my tires were cooler than everyone else’s, but when Max had the same problem it was pretty clear that… who’s next? That sort of thing,” said the four-time world champion, who finished second. In the race.
“I don’t know why, but it’s not supposed to happen, so I think there needs to be a little investigation because it’s probably the worst place of the year you want to have this. It could hurt. turn if you get it wrong so close to the pit entrance, to the wall over there. We’re going well over 300 km / h (186 mph). “
Hill also said Verstappen was fortunate enough to make his way to the barrier on the right.
“Max was lucky because if he goes to the left there is a barrier going into the pit wall, if he had been there the crash could have been much more serious,” Hill added.
“The impact could have been much heavier.”
Sunday’s race winner Sergio Perez and Verstappen’s teammate also said it was important that the issues were fully understood.
“The speeds and failure there is pretty extreme,” said the Red Bull driver. “Fortunately nothing happened today, but it’s something that needs to be reviewed and make sure we understand what’s going on.
In a statement issued on Sunday evening, Pirelli’s Isola added: “No warnings or vibrations were detected and none of the other tires of the same age or older showed signs of excessive wear.
“So we cannot rule out that the damage was caused by an external factor, although these things should not be happening and we can understand the need for answers.”