Pirelli: Causes of Verstappen, Stroll accidents “clearly identified”

Max Verstappen. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

Following the surprising Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in which both Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen saw their tires explode on the main straight, Pirelli released the conclusion of their investigation, admitting that the teams were not at fault.

Two weeks ago in Baku, while Verstappen was leading the race and rushing towards an extremely precious win that could have allowed him to take advantage of Red Bull’s dominance in Azerbaijan, his tire brutally exploded on the main straight giving an end to his amazing momentum.

A few laps earlier, a very similar event was reported when Stroll saw himself helpless at the beginning of the start-finish straight when his tire also exploded and forced his car into the wall.

The similarity of the two accidents was striking as both drivers were running on a straight line, with approximately 30 laps old Pirelli C3 tires, which was also the hardest available compound selected by the Italian manufacturer for the weekend.

A few seconds after their driver smashed his car in a safety barrier, Red Bull’s first reaction was to notify the race direction that absolutely no warning was given to them and that it was strongly recommendable for everybody to pit and change tires for evident safety matters.

After investigating all the elements they could collect from the crashes and analyzing their data, Pirelli just released the conclusions of their investigation, admitting that no team was at fault.

“There was no production or quality defect on any of the tires; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination. The causes of the two left-rear tire failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified,” the report said.

“In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tire, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed.”

“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.”

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