Hamilton: Pirelli not to blame for Verstappen and Stroll’s tyre failures

2021 French Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Pirelli were not to blame for the failures which put two drivers out of the last race in Baku, and called for F1’s new tyre restrictions to be strictly enforced.

Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll crashed out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after suffering left-rear tyre failures during the race. Pirelli subsequently affirmed both teams had run in accordance with their minimum starting pressures.

However, a new technical directive has been introduced this weekend to ensure teams comply with minimum pressure limits during sessions as well.

One of Hamilton’s tyres was also found to have sustained a cut during the race, but did not fail. The Mercedes driver said he does not believe Pirelli were to blame for the failures which occurred.

“Whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up. So that tells you something, more often than not that the tyres are not running at the pressures that are being asked.

“We didn’t have a problem with our tyres and I think they’ve 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.”

Hamilton previously called attention to Red Bull’s usage of its tyres, questioning why they removed the blankets over half a minute before Max Verstappen’s qualifying run at one race, a practice which is outlawed by the new technical directive. He called for vigilant enforcement of the new rules.

“At the end of the day, safety is is always the priority. And for me and for my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate. So I was very surprised, naturally, to see that they had to clarify those, which obviously you can take what you want from that. But I’m happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it.

“I think what’s really important from now is how they police it because they’ve not been policing how the tyres are being used, tyre pressure, tyre temperatures, and we need to do better. It’s great that they’ve done a TD, but it’s the action now. We need to see them really follow through and be really vigilant to make sure that it’s equal across the field.”

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Dieter Rencken
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66 comments on “Hamilton: Pirelli not to blame for Verstappen and Stroll’s tyre failures”

  1. That is one of the reasons Tyre blankets should be remove totally. That is just for the best and if people cann’t warm thre tyres that is there problem just cope with it. Or Pirelli could make beter tyres but that isn’t going to happen.

    1. I do like the idea of banning tyre blankets but with these pirellis in particular, we would see some crazy differentials in performance at the pitstops. the overcut would be massive, which would in turn encourage teams to run longer and longer stints, potentially running the risk of tyre failure. It would create some interesting strategic headaches for the teams.

    2. @macleod If they are going to ban the warmers they would have to do it 1-2 years down the road so that Pirelli (Or any other supplier) could design tires around that.

      I remember some years ago when that idea was put out that it was noted that the construction & compounds are built around knowing they will be pre-heated & so the way they come upto temperature is different to a tire that is designed around knowing they won’t be pre-heated.

    3. … or maybe the teams will race with the tyres wrapped in the blankets… Now THAT would be a show.

  2. Let’s wait and see. Maybe Baku was a one off in terms of tyre performance. The current Paul Ricard layout is also a circuit that exerts heavy force on the tyres, especially the front tyres. Let’s see how the tyres perform this weekend. Oh, and let’s not forget at Silverstone as well since that was the main reason why Pirelli changed the tyres, because of the blowouts from last year.

  3. “Whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up. So that tells you something, more often than not that the tyres are not running at the pressures that are being asked.” He’s trying to say others are cheating with the pressures, but in reality slamming Pirelli as them putting up the pressures after failures, could just as well tell us that they’re trying to cover for a poor tyre as that’s exactly what they’ve done before.

    1. It’s a strange argument. Hamilton is insinuating that everyone from Red Bull and Aston Martin to even Pirelli themselves (!) are lying when they say the tyres were run to spec.

      1. @cashnotclass Pirelli said the pressures were under spec.

      2. The spec you refer to is a test done prior to the race. Once the test was complete, teams changed pressures knowing there are no more tests

  4. Making a veiled accusation to put the other team under greater scrutiny is a classic from the sports handbook. Some teams do things to the baseballs, some teams are holding and tackling their opponents during corner kicks, some teams are putting sticky substances on their hands to better catch the football….

  5. Is Lewis trying to be as unlikeably as possible?

    1. What, for saying what half the grid says, and the other half know has been happening? Anyway he could say the exact opposite and still get the same reaction from the same people.
      But maybe you are right, after all he has fed on other peoples negativity since he first set foot on a track. Seems to have done quite well out of it after all.

    2. Nope, he’s just twisting the knife for Maxfosi who will cry at anything he says regardless.

    3. He’s just pointing out the dishonesty coming from the Max camp.

  6. Pirelli putting the pressure up after the Free Practice sessions on Friday tells me they suspected the tyres wouldn’t last. May be they just didn’t put the pressure up high enough?

  7. Lewis Hamilton British GP 2020 after tyre issues : Tyres should not be like this.

    Lewis Hamilton Azerbaijan GP 2021 after other teams face tyre issues: nothing wrong with the tyres.

    1. Only a few months ago Hamilton had no problem criticizing Pirelli, noting ‘If you’re going back after two years of development, I mean, I don’t know what’s happening. So it definitely doesn’t feel good out there. And it’s a worry.’

      The comments in the article are classic Mercedes. It shows they’re feeling the pressure. Last time they did, back in 2018, they shamefully accused Räikkönen of deliberately ramming Hamilton. Yes, that Räikkönen – the same one almost universally praised as one of the classiest drivers in F1 to have wheel to wheel battles with.

    2. Cristiano Ferreira
      17th June 2021, 17:47

      He is an hypocrite. Nothing new here.

      1. Hahahaha love it boys! Do keep up the entertainment 👍🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

    3. @knightameer If the teams affected were not trying to circumvent the rules to drive with a lower pressure than allowed and still suffer issues, then yes they have a valid point. So yes in Silverstone there was a valid issue although the explanation given by the drivers that a pothole in front of a kerb was the culprit seems much more likely.

      In case of Baku only the teams who are affected by the now changed technical directives were the ones suffering tyre issues.

      It’s good that Hamilton is calling them out, but really the GDPA should be the one taking a strong stance against teams circumventing the safety guidelines. It’s massively dangerous and yet these teams willingly choose to operate at lower pressures than prescribed. Not sure if their drivers knew of this.

  8. Why is Hamilton commenting at all on this? Not sure he should be making judgments on this issue.

    1. Because he was asked about it numbnuts. If you hadnt noticed for the past few decades, journalists get to ask drivers a couple questions on a Thursday before the race. @john-h

      1. Well somebody is at fault, so by saying that Pirelli aren’t he’s clearly making an accusation there. How does he know Pirelli are not at fault, numbnuts?

    2. The same reason Max and others commented. They were asked.

    3. And don’t forget because this site loves every word that comes out of Hamilton’s mouth.

      1. Lol of course it is natural that he’d be asked questions and provide answers. It is the nature of the answers that are fair game to debate.

        1. Quite right. And currently it is being debated whether he has thrown his own team under the bus, or other teams, or Pirelli, or Max, or pretending its other teams, but really its Pirelli, or garnering sympathy. Not sure we are going to get a consensus; but looking forward to more convoluted explanations of what he really meant.

          1. Hahaha… this, exactly this.

          2. I’ve been a Hamilton fan since 2007, still I’m surprised he said Pirelli were not at fault rather than saying he doesn’t know. Hence my original comment. Lots of of decisive reactions coming out from this I was not expecting! I guess that’s the world we now live in.

    4. @john-h Agreed it should be the GPDA that calls an end to cheating on safety guidelines. Flexible wing mounts and running lower tyres pressures than allowed are serious safety risks. The drivers should unite in saying that they don’t want the teams to go that route.

    5. In case someone doubts the sort of guy he is, he just opens his mouth to remove all doubt.

  9. So he is implying that he and his own team was at fault for the cut on his left rear tyre that thankfully didn’t result in another tyre failure?

    What a convoluted way to throw your own team under the bus. And that too after he himself made an error losing 18 to 25 points.

    1. Pirelli found that the cause of the explosions was not debris after all. In their rather convoluted statement and following new rules introduction it became clear it was the way in which the teams ran the tyres. At the time, the way they ran them was per Pirelli’s testing requirements and so no fault could be found with the teams. But Pirelli have released new rules for their tyres so that what Red Bull, Aston Martin, and presumably more teams on the grid were doing to optimize their tyre pressures for passing the FIA tests prior to the race, but then having the pressures move more into the (lower) range they would prefer during the race would be prevented. It’s similar to the flexi-wing situation. They optimized their equipment to pass the FIA tests but engineered a way for the equipment to achieve conditions more favorable to them during the race.

      Hamilton’s cut tyre was probably coincidental to Max and Lance’s tyre failures and not related. I’m not saying Merc aren’t also playing games to get their tyre pressures into the approved range for the FIA tests and then having them migrate to what they would consider better pressures. Mercedes used to (maybe still are?) use the rim heating blankets to raise the tyre pressures in the pits so they could pass the FIA tests, which shortly after the tyres were fitted and the car left the pits, would begin to cool and drop the pressures down. All the teams play these games.

      1. @g-funk The only reason a lot of this over-regulation exists is to cover up the fact that Pirelli’s tires have been totally inadequate for F1. At no point in the sports history before Pirelli did there ever need to be regulations dictated by the tire supplier.

        The tire suppliers used to have to supply tires around the needs of F1, Now F1 has to change regulations & come up with more over-regulation to cover up the deficiencies of the awful product it’s been supplied with.

        Pirelli like to shift blame to faster, heavier cars yet go back & look at the issues with the slower, lighter cars in 2011-2013 where we were seeing many of these same problems.

        Pirelli are simply out of their depth & it should be seen as embarrassing & unacceptable that the pinnacle of the sport has had to deal with the worst tires in all of motor sport for a decade now.

        #PirelliOut! #NoMoreComedyTires #WeWantRealRacingTires

        1. The weight argument is definitely the new favourite of Pirelli and their supporters. It’s just totally ignoring that LMP1 and now Le Mans Hyper Cars cars are much heavier and they don’t have any issue racing (not merely driving) their Michelin tyres for multiple stints in a row.

        2. @roger-ayles I’m not sure who should shoulder most of the blame: the FIA or Pirelli. The FIA for coming up with dumb requirements for tyres to degrade in inconsistent ways “for the show” or Pirelli for actually manufacturing them (and doing a bad job at that). As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him? But regardless of who is more foolish, both look very bad in all this and should be looking in the mirror on how to improve.

        3. @roger-ayles The only reason a lot of this over-regulation exists is because some teams don’t care about safety. It really should be enough to say that a minimum pressure should be adhered to for safety of the tyres. And yet a few teams circumvent the tests so they can run the tyres at lower than allowed pressures.

          Then, after knowingly running under the specs given to prevent tyres issues, they actually have the gal to complain that their tyres suffered issues.

        4. #DismissEveryoneInvolvedInThis

  10. He’s at it again pointing the finger at Red Bull. I can’t remember the last time Hamilton pointed the finger so much. This is all psychological. He’s trying to put pressure on his rivals. We have no idea if Red Bull and Aston Martin were skirting the rules on tyre pressures, but I don’t believe for one second that Mercedes wouldn’t do the same if they thought they’d get a performance advantage from it. We already see their rear wing seems to be flexing more in Baku after all the protesting.

    1. @lejimster82 I’m not sure if what he is doing is trying to put pressure on his rivals, for I don’t see that working, but what I think LH likes to do is garner sympathy from his following.

      Paraphrasing…“It’s no secret the floor change was meant to favour high-rake cars.”

      “Their flexy wing is worth up to .6 seconds”

      “Guys how did I end up behind these cars?”

      “We have followed the rules in the name of safety”

    2. @lejimster82 He doesn’t want teams to cheat. Especially not on such safety related issues. Tyres exploding due to running a low pressures and wings failing due to failed flexible mounts have cause serious issues in the past. That’s why rules exist to ban that type of practice. It’s despicable that some teams still resort to such forms of cheating to get an advantage. How supporters can stand behind such acts is beyond me.

  11. I still want to learn more about the teams not using just air in the tyres which was banned also.

  12. It’s a bit silly to say this. If the cars were running outside the limits, that would’ve been the conclusion of the investigation.

    Tyre pressure data is available.

    1. Supplied by the teams using their own equipment during the race.

      1. It’s still available to Pirelli who have tire engineer’s embedded in every team who have access to all of the data both live & for later analysis.

        The FIA also have access to it as all of the telemetry data goes through a standard system now supplied to the teams by FOM (Hence why teams complained of having no data when the FOM systems went down during FP1 at Imola).

        The tire temperatures & pressures are also a part of what goes into producing those tire performance graphics that pop up on the broadcasts. They take those 2 data points along with a few others & try & predict the likely performance of the tires via the (According to Pirelli not totally accurate) graphics.

  13. What a nasty person he is confirming to be, doesn`t matter, what goes around comes around.

    1. Lol, pot and kettle sprung to mind after reading this

    2. Hehehehe I cant believe the meltdown this is causing!! Great entertainment though!!
      🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        18th June 2021, 2:26

        Seems like you suck Hamilton’s balls for free dude. Great work

          1. Tace, irrumator

          2. One quick question: Do you still click the wrong button? REPLY -> LEFT BUTTON.

  14. Martin Elliott
    17th June 2021, 15:54

    It’s an obvious illustration of the lack of modern management by FIA in nearly all of its activities.

    A Blame Culture is not a consistent high tech approach to identification of real cause & effect and looking for an optimisation for best value solutions.

    The whole point is to identify and manage risk, both benefits and drawbacks. Not just identify one Hazard and reduce that, without any consideration of new hazards introduced, as with the halo.

    1. The issue here is that two teams willing choose to circumvent safety guidelines. That’s not “blame culture”, that’s simply dangerous and despicable.

  15. Ah, he still needs the mental game I see.
    Pressure is rising at Mercedes and especially Lewis.
    Do the talking on track, like max does.

    1. Yeah he burst the tyre because it was underinflated. Brilliant talking.

  16. Cristiano Ferreira
    17th June 2021, 17:45

    Stupid “Sir” Hypocrite at his best again.

    I hope his tyres explode in the next race just to see what he can talk about it.

    1. Why are you so angry? Did Lewis do something mean to you?
      🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

      1. Cristiano Ferreira
        18th June 2021, 2:27

        Keep sucking Hamilton’s balls dude. Great work :)

        1. Well…he can’t even click the right button every time he comments here. I’ll give him a piece of an important reminder: The Reply button is the one to the LEFT!
          “Nah, mine’s the freakin’ Edit!”
          “Really?”

  17. Why do people criticize lewis when he gives his opinion. Do we have short memories? When ferrari were had fastest car 2019 was it not him that aaid they had some “tricks” in the engine. The fia investigated. And after that ferrari were almost nowhere. Lewis is a driver that is always checking his oponants, learning from them seeing thru their gimmicks etc. Yet we dont appreciate that that is an actual talent he has. We rather call him names…

    1. Not so much “we” as angry, vengeful disturbed people wanting to have a dig. Let them crack on I say… great value for £1 per month!!

  18. RocketTankski
    17th June 2021, 21:42

    Mercedes would know more than most about Pirelli tyres I suppose..

    1. Aw …bless you… have you been keeping this to yourself for all this time? It must be hard. Help is never far away though. Reach out!

  19. Lewhine Hamilton strikes again
    I guess it’s fair since his motto is “Still I Whine”

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