Pirelli says the failures suffered by Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix were due to the running conditions of the tires.
Stroll had a high-speed accident on the run to the start/finish line when his left rear failed on lap 30, and then Verstappen had a very similar failure 17 laps later on the same part of the track while leading. Pirelli has now completed its analysis of what happened and delivered a report to the teams and FIA, stating the way the tires were being run was to blame, despite the teams following Pirelli’s initial guidance.
“This analysis also took in the tires used by other cars in the race, which had the same or a higher number of laps on them compared to the ones that were damaged,” the Pirelli statement read. “The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tires; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination.
“The causes of the two left-rear tire failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified. In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tire, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed.
“As a result of this analysis, Pirelli have submitted their report to the FIA and the Teams. The FIA and Pirelli have agreed a new set of the protocols, including an upgraded technical directive already distributed, for monitoring operating conditions during a race weekend and they will consider any other appropriate actions.”
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) June 6, 2021
The suggestion is that the tires were not being run properly while out on track despite having been in the correct state when first put on the car, and Red Bull soon released its own statement in response to the report, reiterating that it followed Pirelli’s parameters.
“We have worked closely with Pirelli and the FIA during their investigation into Max’s tire failure on lap 47 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and can confirm that no car fault was found,” Red Bull said. “We adhered to Pirelli’s tire parameters at all times and will continue to follow their guidance.
“We are grateful that following the weekend’s high speed impacts no drivers were injured.”