“We need to air-freight them to Milan for a complete analysis” – Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola has suggested debris could be behind the rear-left tyre failures of Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Before the race weekend at Baku, it was all about the flexi wings controversy surrounding Red Bull. After the race, the task is still around Red Bull, but it is Pirelli facing the heat instead.
This after Max Verstappen suddenly crashed into the barriers due to a rear-left tyre failure towards the final stage of the race. At Lap 31, Lance Stroll suffered the same fate in his Aston Martin.
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) June 6, 2021
Mario Isola was seen talking to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff around the pit lane during the Red Flag procedure. The Pirelli F1 boss, speaking to Sky F1, suggested Lewis Hamilton could have suffered the same fate.
Interestingly, though, he has ruled out any failure on their part (for the time being), instead putting the blame on debris lying on the track. The tyres would be shipped back to their HQ in Milan, where a complete analysis will bring out the truth.
“It’s a bit early to understand what happened to the tyres. We are waiting for the tyres back to the fitting area to analyse them, but we probably need to air-freight them to Milan for a complete analysis.
“First investigations suggest debris because the rear left is not the most stressed tyre on this circuit, it’s the rear right. If we talk about wear, it’s the front right. So it’s in a position that doesn’t suggest anything special on tyres.
“The other point is that we found another cut on a rear left tyre from another car [Hamilton’s] that luckily didn’t cut the construction, that was clearly a cut from debris.
“The other point is that obviously both failures happened more or less at the same part of the circuit and obviously Max was a few hundred metres after the crash of Lance. Maybe there was some debris, but I don’t want to say it was debris because first of all we need to analyse the tyre.
“I am collecting information, we are waiting for telemetry data from the teams. It was sudden, that was clear, but if you have a big cut on the tyre it is sudden.
“I believe we will have the tyres back in a couple of days because unfortunately we are far from Italy, so it takes a bit of time to air-freight the tyres, and then we will start immediately the investigation. By the end of the week, we should know something more.
“When something like that happens we need to collect information, to understand what happened.
“What I can tell you is we have several sets of hard tyres with more than 30 laps and we are checking in the fitting area and didn’t find any issues.
“It’s not something that I can tell you all the tyres had a potential issue – it’s absolutely not like that. We have two tyres, rear left, at the same point of the circuit that failed. We need to understand why.”