Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin Formula 1 drivers have voiced concerns about the Pirelli tires following the failures that occurred at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Pirelli conducted an investigation into the failures suffered by Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll in Baku and found that the teams had followed the starting parameters in terms of pressures and temperatures but claimed the way they were being used during a run was to blame. With both teams insisting they fully followed the Pirelli guidance, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez admits he doesn’t have confidence in the structural integrity of the tires.
“Obviously from what we’ve seen in Baku, all the teams (abided by) the regulations or what Pirelli has asked us to do,” Perez said. “It’s a concern. We know that Baku is a special place and so on, but still it’s a concern what happened. We’ll see what they come up with, and it’s all about our safety in those moments.”
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (pictured above in the paddock with Perez) added: “I think the short answer would be I can’t say 100% yes (I have confidence) and I can’t say 100% no.
“The only thing that really matters — I can only speak for ourselves; obviously it happened in our team to Lance, he had a failure — is we’ve been doing what Pirelli’s asked us to do. I don’t know anything else.”
Verstappen says he is unhappy with the explanation offered up by Pirelli in its report, because it doesn’t give a definitive reason for the issues.
“Personally, not (satisfied), because for me it was just a bit vague what came out,” Verstappen said. “The only thing I can say is that from our side, I think the team did everything like they should have done. They followed all the guidelines with tire pressures and stuff. So there was nothing to be found there.
“I don’t really get… for sure we’ll go up on pressures here for this weekend. I’m 100% sure we will. Probably it has something to do with that, what happened in Baku, but it would also be nice to just know if it was tire pressure-related. Just speak out — it would be a bit easier to understand (if that happened) and I think the explanation we got so far (wasn’t enough) because the team didn’t do anything wrong.”
Stroll admits he’s not convinced by the reaction to the failures that will likely result in higher tire pressures being utilized this weekend at Paul Ricard.
“We’re running at the legal prescribed pressures from Pirelli and there was nothing wrong with our car during the race that we could see,” Stroll said. “Pirelli now are just going to bump up the pressures and they believe that’s going to be a better solution for the safety this weekend. There’s not much more to say on it.
“I just hope we don’t see more blowouts for whatever reason that may be. It’s not fun at that speed, to have unexpected punctures or whatever you want to call it.”