Pirelli plans to provide a report into its findings regarding the tire failures suffered in Baku before the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in just over a week’s time.
Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen both suffered high-speed failures on the pit straight in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with the latter retiring from the lead in the closing stages and the race being red-flagged. A cut was also found on one of Lewis Hamilton’s tires that he was running at the same time both issues occurred — something that could prove important to Pirelli’s investigations as head of motorsport Mario Isola says the fact the tires that failed didn’t completely fall apart doesn’t make the analysis much easier.
“The plan now is to make a thorough investigation and make a report to the teams and the FIA that will be hopefully before Paul Ricard,” Isola said. “Obviously it is a priority.
“Unfortunately, when you have the accident you have damage — it’s why we need to do a proper analysis with the microscope at the laboratory. We need to check the cause and understand if there is a cut, if the cut is coming from something external before the accident, or because of when the tire is damaged — then you can see other cuts due to the contact with the floor, due to the suspension and so on.
“It’s not (that when) there is tread left it makes the job easier. Obviously when the tire is worn you have less protection from the tread but that is not the case because we still have rubber on the tread, so that is why I said I am excluding it is due to the wear.”
Isola’s preliminary investigations into the incidents on Sunday night prompted him to suggest debris was to blame, and he also pointed out the fact that there was no warning and the failures happened in the same location on the track to support that theory.
“It means the debris was very close to the area where the tire failed, as it was a sudden failure. It was not something that could happen much earlier and that they were running around losing air, else you can see you are losing pressure. They didn’t find that, and that means there was probably debris.
“If it was debris, in that area, not somewhere else, and then because of the speed we have the failure, (that suggests) it was something that happened in the same part of the track.”