Pirelli gives reasons for Baku tire failures, FIA gives new tire protocols

Pirelli released a statement with regards to the two tire failures during the Azerbaijan GP for Aston Martin and Red Bull.

While the tire maker were quick to suggest it wasn’t a tire construction failure, they did hint to what they called “Running Conditions”. The key here is the compliance with “starting conditions” and then “running conditions”.

From the outside looking in, you could read this as a hint that the teams were running the tires a little differently than the starting conditions. Red Bull were quick to suggest they were running their tire was within the prescribed parameters given by Pirelli.

Is this a case of passing initial starting conditions but when running, they are displaying a different parameter when in running conditions? I am curious about this element as we’ve seen with the “bendy wings” issue and need for a new, more robust test and I am not quite sure we’ve heard the last of this tire issue.

If the implication is that running conditions were different than starting conditions, there is a finger pointing but at whom and will the teams take that sitting down?

Ultimately it centers around tire pressures when running and the FIA have now released a set of new tests and protocols around this issue which would suggest that teams may be running lower pressures than prescribed when the cars are running.

Pirelli Press Statement:

Pirelli, in conjunction with the FIA, has completed the analysis of the left-rear tyres involved in the incidents that affected Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen during the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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. 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.

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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Xean Drury

Speaking of Bendy Wings, Wasn’t Toto supposed to be running a one man picket line in front of the Red Bull garage, protesting their participation? Whatever happened to that story? Someone must have tapped him on the shoulder “Maybe not the best idea, mate”