Pirelli reveals findings from Baku F1 tyre failure investigation

Pirelli has concluded that the tyre failures that affected Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll at Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix were likely caused by how their teams were running the tyres.

Both drivers suffered left rear blow outs in the Baku race, with the initial suspicion pointing to debris being the cause of the incidents.

This theory was boosted by the fact that other cars were found to have suffered cuts on their tyres during the red flag period triggered by Verstappen’s incident.

Read also:

In a bid to get to the bottom of what happened, Pirelli flew the tyres back to its Milan headquarters for a detailed analysis in its laboratories.

On Tuesday, the Italian tyre company issued a release making it clear that the failures were not caused by a production fault, wear nor delamination.

It went on reveal that the blowouts were instead caused by a circumferential break on the inner sidewall of the tyres, rather than being the result of a cut from debris.

The statement suggested that the breaks in the sidewall were likely caused by the ‘running condition of the tyre’ – which is probably related to either tyre pressures or the temperatures they were run at.

“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,” it said.

“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. 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.”

F1 teams are currently only required to run tyres at a minimum tyre pressure when they are first fitted to the cars, as there is no requirement for them to maintain pressures once a car is out on track.

This means that the door is open for teams to find ways to lower the pressure once checks have taken place, but such a reduction in pressure means the tyre is put under more stress.

Pirelli revealed that new pressure and tyre blanket protocols were to be put in place to ensure there could be no repeat of the Baku problem, with teams having already been informed by the FIA of what new processes must be followed.

The statement added: “As a result of this analysis, Pirelli have submitted their report to the FIA and the Teams. 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.”

While Pirelli suggests how the tyres were run triggered the incidents, Red Bull issued a statement insisting it followed all the recommendations given to it. 

It said: “We have worked closely with Pirelli and the FIA during their investigation into Max’s tyre failure on lap 47 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and can confirm that no car fault was found. We adhered to Pirelli’s tyre parameters at all times and will continue to follow their guidance. 
 
"We are grateful that following the weekend’s high speed impacts no drivers were injured.”

 

shares
comments

Related video

Tost: Gasly now one of the "absolutely top drivers" in F1
Previous article

Tost: Gasly now one of the "absolutely top drivers" in F1

Next article

F1 teams face new cold pressure tyre checks from French GP

F1 teams face new cold pressure tyre checks from French GP
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022