Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen says he is unconvinced by Pirelli’s explanation into his Baku failure, while rival Lewis Hamilton suggested the tyre supplier was not to blame.

Verstappen suffered a left-rear failure at high speed during the closing stages of the race at Baku and was pitched into a heavy collision with the wall.

It came in the wake of Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll also suffering a left-rear tyre failure during the race.

Pirelli published its own findings on Tuesday in which it outlined that there was a “circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre.”

Pirelli stressed that the prescribed starting parameters had been followed in both instances.

Red Bull and Aston Martin also released separate statements to assert that it had not breached any guidelines.

In response Pirelli will implement a new set of protocols, including updated technical directives, ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix.

Pirelli is due to meet with drivers later on Thursday afternoon before addressing the media.

Speaking during the pre-event press conference, on whether he was satisfied with the conclusion, Verstappen said: “Personally not, because for me it was just a bit vague, what came out.

“The only thing I can say is from our side the team did everything like they should have done, I mean they followed all the guidelines with tyre pressures and stuff, so there was nothing to be found there.

“It would also be nice to just know if it was tyre pressure related… just speak out, I think that would be I think a bit easier to understand than I think the explanation we got so far because the team didn’t do anything wrong.”

Verstappen went on to add that “they [Pirelli] cannot put the blame on us, and I think they have to look at themselves” while expecting tyre pressures to be raised for the upcoming event at Paul Ricard.

Hamilton, sat alongside his title rival during the press conference, outlined his view that Formula 1’s tyre supplier was not at fault.

“For me and for my team there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate,” he said.

“So I was very surprised, naturally, to see they had to clarify those… which obviously you can take what you want from that.

“I’m happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it, and I think what’s really important from now is how they police it, as they’ve not been policing how the tyres are being used, tyre pressures, tyre temperatures, and we need to do better.

“It’s great they’ve done a TD, but it’s the action now we need to see them follow through, and be really vigilant, to make sure it’s equal across the field.

“The integrity [of the tyres] … wherever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up, so that tells you something.

“More often than not the tyres are not running at the pressures that are being asked.

“We didn’t have a problem with our tyres, I think they’ve [Pirelli] done a great job with the tyres this year, they’re more robust than before. And in this particular instance I don’t think Pirelli are at fault.”

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