Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2016

Vettel tyre blow-out was “isolated incident” – Pirelli

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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Pirelli have yet to identify the exact cause of Sebastian Vettel’s spectacular retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix, but have described the failure as “an isolated incident”

“Ferrari and Red Bull adopted a different strategy to the majority of front runners, beginning the race on the super-soft tyre rather than the ultra-soft, which was the default choice for the other top 10 drivers – being just over half a second quicker. However, during a long first stint, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel experienced a tyre issue.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, said that “with Ferrari we’re fully investigating the incident on Sebastian Vettel’s car, in order to finalise a cause.”

He went a little way to explain why teams were pushing their tyre strategies to the limit by saying “the teams headed into the weekend with little information on the tyres following the mixed conditions in free practice and qualifying, as a result of which strategy was a question of thinking on their feet and extracting the maximum advantage from the changing race circumstances”

Sebastian Vettel said “when the rear right tyre failed, I didn’t feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue. There were no signs before that, everything was normal.”

After the incident he remarked “I spoke with the people on the pit wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tyres felt fine, the lap times were fine. It’s completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure.”

Vettel defended his team’s strategy choice, “Obviously the idea was to go on as long as possible with that set of tyres and to shape our race on that idea, but I don’t think it was an aggressive strategy, as lots of people went longer than us on the same tyres.”

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Chris Turner
Being pelted by rain on his first visit to an F1 race at the 1998 British Grand Prix wasn't enough to dim Chris's passion...

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  • 35 comments on “Vettel tyre blow-out was “isolated incident” – Pirelli”

    1. Both Vettel and Hamilton had the back tyre shredding frilly bits of rubber from the outside corner. Surely this would suggest thyat they should be allowed a little more camber than Pirelli stipulate!

      1. It’s like that every weekend. That’s where the ‘marbles’ come from.

    2. It always is.

      Rightly or wrongly it seems very few people have any faith in there product anymore based on the odd comments you hear from teams, drivers, fans and so on & that just isn’t good for anyone involved including Pirelli.

      When people lose faith and/or have no to little confidence in you or your equipment its best to step aside and let them switch to something they have full trust & faith in. Thats actually a big part of why i’m so against this mandated spec tyre-era were currently in even if teams/drivers hate the product, have no confidence or faith in it & just don’t trust Pirelli as a supplier they are still forced to use them which as far as i’m concerned just isn’t right or particularly good for anyone.

      If I have a bad experience with a car manufacturer or type of tyre I buy something from a different manufacturer or supplier, Yet here we have the pinnacle of the sport where teams are forced to use something that its pretty clear virtually anyone involved likes.

    3. Yes, it was an isolated incident, the problem is that it happens to often!

    4. Seems to me as an isolated incident. With a couple of drivers having used super-softs for that long (Romain Grosjean – 26, Felipe Nasr – 27), plus having blow out his rear-right tyre in a circuit with 5 right-handed to 2 left-handed corners, everything points to a manufacture or debris problem.

      1. The inside rear wheel can get more graining and wear, as it is unloaded and differential settings can make it over-rotate.

    5. If we consider Pirelli as an ‘isolated incident’ everything seems normal to me. Let’s face it, they don’t have technology to provide rubber meeting F1 demands. We’ve seen this to often to think any different about ‘isolated incidents’. Their tire tweaks remind me, in a way, of Homer Simpson asking Marge to give him another last chance… Whatever they do it happens again.

    6. Seb paid a visit to Ferrari pit wall, talked to Jock Clear so I’m expecting this evilish nicca to be demoted to Haas or sth. ;) Jock Clear is Merc’s trojan horse.

    7. I can predict the result of the investigation.

      Invisible debris.

      1. As usual.

    8. I have this theory, and it’s called Ferrari carry more weight on the rear of their car. The geometry is set to offset the weight difference, but when it comes to acceleration, Ferrari typically get better friction on the rears. Unfortunately this can lead to premature rear tire death as has been seen before. It’s even worth noting how pressures were ‘adjusted’ last year leading in to Monza. Food for thought.

      1. @xsavior I can’t say I agree with your theory but Ferrari did work their rear tires more than other team it seems. Or maybe it’s only Vettel setup considering Raikkonen looks fine.

        1. I could be wrong, but I believe Kimi pitted before Vettel, same for Spa too I believe.

      2. The weight bias is tightly regulated, Ferrari would be running very close to, if not the same, as other teams.

    9. Broken suspension in practise, tyre blow out in race….tyre pressure’s too high perhaps?

      1. the high pressures would undoubtedly contribute to the suspension issues, but I’m not sure about the tyre failures. higher pressures ought to mitigate against most types of blowouts – it’s not like they’re running them at absurd pressures. remember that even 0.5 psi can make a huge difference to the feel of the car, that’s why the drivers are complaining about ‘high’ pressures.

        1. Pressures are stupid high for F1 old standards.

          They are now running similar pressures to road cars..

          225 kPa front, 180 kPa rear if I am not mistaken, for Austria…

    10. vettel touched the small yellow zone in the last corner ( not the right hander, but before)

      Vettel used the tipe much longer thn any other driver.. Foolish strategy.. again.
      Another weak spot of Ferrari.

      1. Nonsense, two other drivers used the super soft for longer without any problem. If you seriously believe this is what tyres should do when nearing the end of their usable lifespan, before any significant performance drop off, you need to do some research.

    11. Once again Kimi underperforming. He could not even take care/overtake Max on the final laps having the better car of the two. The Ferrari is a better car then the Red Bull it just needs a capable driver and Kimi continues to disappoint Ferrari. If Vettel is out it is up to Kimi to get Second place.

      1. I can bet the likes of Perez , Grosjean being worse off than than Kimi. The Ferrari team seems to be somehow compromising Kimi’s race by giving preference to Seb – we saw the way they got him back on traffic. Except Monaco Kimi has been in his elements to deliver the best on this car.

        If under performing means 4 podiums I will take it. Just for the record he is equal on points with Seb. I would prefer consistency over the unknown.

        1. If the alternative is Grosjean, then I would prefer Kimi anyday. But it becomes interesting if Perez is the case.
          With Perez, Ferrari can go for the alternative strategy as he is good in preserving the tires and generally getting the car home.

          However, I would be happy if Kimi is still in place. Ferrari got bigger things to worry than the drivers line up at the moment.

        2. Yeah exactly my point, they just want Vettel to finish as far up the road on Kimi as possible.
          I genuinely think they had a shot at winning this race with Kimi. But all they want is Vettel on the podium ‘ahead’ of his teammate. This team does not fail to disappoint you. They paid the price yet again.

        3. Kimi had to take that position from Max he had more than one lap to do it. As for Perez I agree Ferrari can always work the tyre strategy with him and hopefully keep the Red Bulls off the podium.

      2. Yellow flag at turn 3 from Perez incident. That’s why he can’t overtake Verstappen in last lap.

    12. This is just life being unfair; those two bang wheels, step o each others front wings and still finish both; this one has a tire blowing up on the straight!

      AAAARGHHHHHH !!!

    13. Lynda Green
      4th July 2016, 1:44

      can we get pirelli and there embarrassingly bad tires out of the sport already please!

      every time its invisible debris or unexplained & there comes a point when you can no longer take them seriously. so many issues since 2011 & tires so much in the spotlight more than ever before its just getting silly.

      allow a tire war again and pirelli would get embarrassed by the other supplier because there tires are simply not that good.

      is there any category where pirelli face tire competition where they are producing a better product? dont think so but i dont watch everything so maybe i wrong? just seems like you never hear pirelli talked about as making great racing tires these days and 90% of the attention surrounding f1 is negative because there f1 tires are not really all that great (slow, wear & many failures).

      1. Pirelli have said several times they would leave immediately if another supplier is allowed to enter F1, no tire war, that shows how much they trust the quality of their product.

    14. Isolated… Despite nearly 40-50% pressure increase from what teams consider ideal. Great camber restrictions…

      And gag order on drivers…

      This still happens. Explosive delamination. Niceley done. And again to Vettel.

    15. When they[Pirelli] increase the tire pressures they are making the side walls working much harder than usual and the cars will have lack of Foot Print so what ever grip they get is heavily relies on the side walls. Now add the Greater Camber restrictions the Side walls have lot more work than usual. With Pirelli’s ever high quality of production or lack of it the tires with the current restrictions are now in much higher probability of damage and hence delamination than previous with more foot print and less side wall flex.

      1. Side walls, by definition have less work to do with pressure increase… Air pressure helps carry the load.

        But how bad are those sidewalls to need that much pressure and still fail?

        Seriusly something needs to change with tires, wheel size, structural changes…

    16. ResultantAsteroid
      4th July 2016, 10:11

      This is really dangerous. Unless they step on something that cuts them, tyres are not supposed to blow up. If you use them more than the Pirelli-recommended max number of laps they should degrade and lose you time, but not blow up!!
      This is not the first incident with Pirelli tyres blowing up. Drivers keep getting away with the aftermath unharmed, thankfully. But this should not continue.

    17. They said they didn’t noticed untill the blowup but when we saw the picture during the race 1-2 round before the accident i told my friend that the rears were looking very bad and if he didn’t pit soon he would do a Spa again.

      1. The Ferrari is slower than the Mercedes but on much older tyres was only loosing 1.5 seconds a lap with times very similar across the stint. Tyres should lose a lot of performance before blowing up. Another few laps and a 1 stop strategy was on. I cannot believe tyres that still hold up OK on performance just blow up.

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