The recent British Grand Prix race at Silverstone has thrown Pirelli under the spotlight again as it had a theatrical ending where Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, besides Carlos Sainz Jr’s Mclaren, all suffered left-front tire punctures.
Though Hamilton won the race, his tire luckily blowing up during the very last lap, his heart skipped a beat when he noticed that the tire was almost cut off the rim. Besides these three drivers, when Verstappen was brought in for an extra pit stop, his tire also had nearly 50 little cuts in it.
The Silverstone track, which is an ultra-high-speed circuit, is indeed a tedious test for tires. However, the pit stops, which happened under the safety car for Daniil Kvyat’s early crash, resulted in the hard tires needing to stretch for nearly three-quarters of the race.
Mario Isola, motorsports chief at Pirelli, revealed on Saturday night that it was still too early to pinpoint the exact reason which led to such issues and that further investigation would be required before the manufacturer could comment.
However, the next Grand Prix is just a week away now and Pirelli might even go one step softer on the tire compounds for this particular event. These two factors give Pirelli a huge, urgent problem to solve.
Pirelli further remarked that a mic of high wear and the leftover debris from Kimi Raikkonen’s broken front spoiler could have been the result of such an unfortunate turn of events.
“It could be high wear because, for sure, tires with 38 laps or more on this circuit are quite worn. But I’m not saying that the wear is the cause of the issue. It can be debris because of some pieces of the front wing of Kimi that were on track, but also some other debris. So that’s why we want to investigate not only the tires being a failure, but all the tires used in the last few laps of the race to understand if we find any other cut or any other possible indication of what happened.”, said Isola.
Pirelli is obviously worried and hopes to have some answers by Tuesday, at the very least.
Currently, the tire manufacturer is planning to run initial tests in their lab and on the track and do some analysis according to that. “If there is the need to run any test that it is not possible to run here on the track, we will send the van quickly to Milan where we have our facilities, laboratories, indoor testing, with obviously more possibilities, more testing we can do there.”
Next week’s race promises to be exciting for sure! Get ready for Formula 1 70th anniversary Grand Prix!