This weekend’s F1 is in France at the Circuit Paul Ricard, but the events at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are still fresh in our memory.
You may recall two notable blowouts from the race involving Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen. Stroll was the first victim when his tyre blew out near the pit entry sending him into a wall. Later, while racing down the main straight at Baku Verstappen’s tyre blew and he too went into a wall.
While initially many believed that debris on the track was the cause of the blowouts, this week Pirelli released a statement regarding why the tyres failed.
“This analysis also took in the tyres used by other cars in the race, which had the same or a higher number of laps on them compared to the ones that were damaged. The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination,” says Pirelli.
So what happened? It seems a breakage was to blame.
“The causes of the two left-rear tyre failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified. In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed,” says Pirelli.
“The FIA and Pirelli have agreed a new set of the protocols, including an upgraded technical directive already distributed, for monitoring operating conditions during a race weekend and they will consider any other appropriate actions,” the manufacturer added.
These protocols, which include new tests for tyre pressure and temperature will be implemented during the race in France this weekend.
As for what caused these breakages, that’s unclear as both Red Bull and Aston Martin have said that – following their own investigations which were assisted by the FIA and Pirelli – that no car faults were found.
Thankfully, Circuit Paul Ricard has long run-off areas so hopefully we won’t see crashes as severe as we saw a few weeks ago.
As a reminder you can stream all the F1 races through F1 TV Pro which is available in South Africa for $44.99 (~R633) for a year or $4.99 (~R70) per month.
If you didn’t heed our advice earlier this year that the 2021 F1 season would be one to watch, there are still a fair number of races left in the season, even if this weekend’s circuit isn’t the most exciting.
[Source – Formula 1]