Sebastian Vettel retired from the Austrian Grand Prix after his tyre exploded on lap 26 as he attempted to make his first stint on super-soft tyres for as long as possible.
That set of tyres had run for 29 laps including three laps in qualifying. The only other driver to attempt to run them as long was Romain Grosjean who lasted for a total of 26 laps before pitting, which helped elevate him to seventh position.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident he was asked whether he thought they were too ambitious he replied “No, I think it was fine. Other people went as long or longer. I didn’t go off anywhere.”
Vettel was adamant there was no warning that the tyre about to let go, “I didn’t feel nothing, there were no signs before, the tyre exploded out of the blue”
Pirelli released a tweet saying that “debris on track caused the tyre problem” six minutes after Vettel’s crash. However it was then deleted a few minutes later.
Vettel’s drama drew immediate comparisons with his tyre failure during the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps last year, which also happened without warning. He called the failure “unacceptable” at the time.
2016 Austrian Grand Prix
- Long stint didn’t cause Vettel’s tyre blow-out in Austria
- Point earns Wehrlein Driver of the Weekend win
- Mercedes will use team orders if Austrian GP scenario recurs
- Hamilton won’t change his approach after Mercedes discussions
- 2016 Austrian Grand Prix team radio transcript
all Austrian Grand Prix articles