Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2016

Long stint didn’t cause Vettel’s tyre blow-out in Austria

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel’s 26-lap stint in the Austrian Grand Prix was “not the issue” behind his tyre blow-out, according to Pirelli.

In an interview with the official Formula One website Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery indicated Vettel’s puncture was related to damage caused by the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring.

“There were also four cars’ suspension that broke ‘out of the blue’ and they were also due to very high loadings on the suspension,” he said. “And, of course, the tyre is part of the suspension, so it is very likely that whatever is loading the suspension was loading the tyre as well.”

“The difference to other places in Austria was also the kerbing that was put in place to discourage drivers from exceeding track limits – and there has been quite some discussion over them recently.”

“We have seen in Silverstone that one of Lewis Hamilton’s lap times was cancelled because of exceeding track limits and I think it is a very wise thing from the FIA to start enforcing it, as it was not followed in the way it should have been.”

Vettel said he had no warning his tyre was about to fail before the puncture. “It was a longer stint that Sebastian was doing compared to the majority of other teams, but that really wasn’t the issue,” said Hembery.

“It was more related to external factors. That is something that we have understood, Ferrari has understood and that we have explained to the FIA. I think we all will have a better understanding moving forward.”

“If the FIA sticks to the plan of enforcing track limits and we see more and more of such kerbing, then we will develop a test to simulate that to see how aggressive you can be in that scenario.”

Pirelli previously blamed debris for Vettel’s puncture.

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Long stint didn’t cause Vettel’s tyre blow-out in Austria”

  1. So earlier it were external debris and now it’s the kerbing. Thank God Pirelli weren’t manufacturing these tires back in the ’80s with the kind of kerbing they had!

    1. Exactly. Wonder what they’ll blame next

  2. “It totally wasn’t degredation, it was debris. On a completely unrelated topic, we’d advise you to run these maximum stint lengths in the next race…”

  3. Following this new “theory” wasn’t this the wrong tire to fail then, as the other side is the one exposed to the lethal curbs? If I am not mistaken, all of the failures experienced by other teams happened on the other side (opposite to Vettel’s).

    1. Kvyat’s rear right also failed during quali, even though it was the rear left that touched the yellow kerb. Sometimes, it’s complicated.

      1. My recollection from watching Kvyat’s suspension failure and the TV commentators comments on it is the suspension (and presumably the tyre) are designed for the load being applied from the outside of a corner towards the apex. By this I mean if the car is taking a right hand turning corner, the load is expected to be from the left of the car, and that most of this load is expected to be placed on the left hand side of the car, but with the Red Bull Ring kerbs they created a situation where there was a high load on the other side of the car that was pulling the wheels away from the car, not pushing the wheels towards the car.
        If a car went too far off the track then both the left hand side of the car and the right hand side of the car were on undulations that weren’t in phase with each other, so one side of the car was moving up and down at one rate, while the other side of the car was moving at a different rate. Now add to this the car is designed more for the wheels to be pushed towards the centre of the car, and less for them to be pulled away from the car. Thus a car is weaker on the side of the car away from the kerb than the side of it towards the kerb, hence the suspension arm that broke was on the inside of the turn not on the outside of the turn.

    2. It’s probably because the left tyre is mostly on the other side of the curb while the right tyre is actually on the curb.

    3. you might want to look at the last turn(s) going on to the start-finish straight.

  4. Considering the way pirelli seemingly often flip flops between replies, and the way their explanations don’t cohere with circumstances or previous explanations – I tend to believe what my friend said.

    A longtime friend of mine, who was at one point a NASCAR tyre engineer, then served stints at Goodyear and Michelin as a tyre engineer before now being a tyre engineer in GP2, says that Pirelli actually have been caught with their pants down – and their tyres somewhat deflated.

    The thing is Pirelli apparently lacks the requisite knowhow to build a race tyre that can be fast, survive F1 stint lengths, and survive F1 levels of structural and thermal stressing all at the same time.

    The marbling we see from Pirelli is he says an indication of this. Their synthetic rubber isnt suited for performance driving on an F1 level of magnitude.

    Gosh I hope he’s wrong. And if he’s right… Gosh I hope they learn soon. Or get replaced

    1. pretty clear your friend has never been involved in designing tyres
      pirelli’s biggest problem is keeping ahead of the teams ability to avoid the operational range of the tyres in order to gain an advantage …of course the teams whinge when they get caught out and blame pirelli

      1. Then why can’t Pirelli expand the operationnal range of its tyres @lebesset? I don’t remember Bridgestone’s F1 products to be so picky.

      2. “pretty clear your friend has never been involved in designing tyres”

        With all respect, comments like this are one of the worst things about the Internet. How can you, possibly an armchair expert (or if not you’re still not in a position to tell somebody else they are lying about a very valid point, correct or not)

        1. Sorry comment posted before it was finished (dodgy phone)

          How can you possibly say that he clearly hasn’t been involved in designing tyres?

          If what you claim is true, why are Pirelli a) blaming kerbs and debris (indecisively), and b) having their tyres explode? It doesn’t make sense, their tyres clearly aren’t built correctly given that they explode when stressed.

      3. lolz. the operational range of the tires has nothing to do with Pirelli’s problems with kerbing and tire longevity. Lewis Hamilton & Mercedes were running their tires just fine last year before the whole pressure thing got blown out of proportion and ended up screwing the second half of Lewis’ season … For what ever reason (har har har).

        The problem isn’t Pirelli, it’s a lack of competition (tire wars) that is why tires keep blowing up and inferior/mediocre products make it to market. If you don’t have to compete, there is nothing keeping you honest, it’s that simple. That’s why the whole 1 tire thing really never worked in MotoGP and despite some good action in 2010, it really hasn’t worked out to well during Pirelli’s stint.

    2. Well, tell your friend to write a blog or article. Should be informative for us fans…

  5. Pirelli should change their name to Unpredictabilli!

  6. The issue is just Pirelli can’t make a proper high-quality F1 grade racing tyres

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