Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

Silverstone tyre failures did not occur entirely “without warning” – Pirelli

2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The tyre failures which occured during last weekend’s British Grand Prix did not strike entirely “without warning”, contrary to comments from some drivers, according to Pirelli.

Lewis Hamilton, whose front-left tyre failed on the final lap of last weekend, was asked how much warning he had before it gave way. “None”, he said.

“I was constantly looking at the tyre,” Hamilton explained. “It was quite smooth and was working really well through turn three, the thing was turning fine. So I was trying to gauge just how worn it was but I didn’t have any feeling of wear, it being particularly worn.”

Speaking to RaceFans, Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola said it was “not 100% correct” to say the tyres failed “without warning”.

“It was an initial loss of air followed by a deflation,” said Isola of the failures suffered by Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jnr. “Before that there was quite a high level of vibration.

“Clearly, you can have vibration also for another reason, like a flat spot for example, or because the tyres are completely worn and therefore you start having vibrations.”

Isola said the loss of pressure was “quite quick” in some cases, more gradual in others. “Obviously there is nothing you can do because when you start losing air, you lose air, at a certain point without pressure inside the tyre is not able to resist and therefore you run flat on the tyre and you break the tyre itself.

“If you look at the images of the tyres at the end of the race, you can see that the two sidewalls are still in position, they are not de-beaded, nothing like that. You have the ring that is the tread, the belts and so on that means that the cut is along the two shoulders. That is the typical way of failure when you have a tyre that is running without air.”

However Isola said the drivers were not necessarily to blame for not realising the vibrations indicated a risk of failure.

“They were racing. And because of the Safety Car at the left and the fact that everybody was targetting a very long stint and so on, they are used to driving with vibration when the tyres are very worn. And in that case, it was also an indication of something different.

“So I’m not saying that the driver should have recognised the issue in advance because obviously they were racing. But we cannot say that there was no indication at all.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

2 comments on “Silverstone tyre failures did not occur entirely “without warning” – Pirelli”

  1. Oh, come on!
    We have all seen how that happened!

    Pirelli is the worst.


  2. so that is ‘technically not without warning, but in effect so’? I mean, that would only be useful if they had warned the teams during the race!

    Oh well, understand they feel need to say something after all the critisicm last week, but it’s a bit on the level of the FIA stewards ‘explanations’ that do not explain why, just how it went the way it did, logic or not.

Comments are closed.