A slow puncture caused Sebastian Vettel’s dramatic penultimate lap tyre blowout at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, Pirelli said on Friday.
The problem dropped Ferrari’s Formula One championship leader from third to seventh, slashing his advantage over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to a single point with half the season remaining.
“A full investigation has now confirmed that the original cause of the failure was a slow puncture,” Pirelli said in a statement.
“The consequent driving back to the pits on an underinflated and then flat tyre led to the final failure.”
Vettel, whose set of soft tyres had done more than half the race distance, had said on Sunday that the failure was “quite sudden”.
“The fact is that the tyre blow-ups came by surprise. It’s not like we were gambling and jeopardizing our race result,” he had said.
His Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished third at Silverstone, also had a problem with the front left tyre in the closing laps and had to pit for a fresh set.
Pirelli said the Italian company was still investigating the cause of that failure.
Max Verstappen doesn’t take Sebastian Vettel’s criticism seriously
Max Verstappen says he cannot take criticism from four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel seriously, because of the incidents the German has gotten himself into this and last season.
Verstappen and Vettel found themselves locked in a battle for position during the recent British Grand Prix, with the pair making slight contact as the Ferrari driver attempted to pass the Dutchman at Vale and Club for fourth place.
Vettel accused the Red Bull man of moving under braking and said he was “a bit jumpy” whilst defending.
But Verstappen says he doesn’t listen to Vettel’s criticism, because he cannot take it seriously when it’s coming from a driver who has been involved in multiple incidents, including deliberately driving into Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan GP, for which he was handed three penalty points, taking him to nine – three shy of a race ban.*
“I don’t take that [criticism] seriously,” Verstappen is quoted as saying by Eurosport. “Especially not after all the things he did. If you look at the penalty points that he’s got…
“The fight with Sebastian was good. It was hard but fair, I think,” added the 19-year-old. “That little bit of contact maybe not, but for the rest everything was OK.”