Pirelli says the initial analysis into its tire failures in the Qatar Grand Prix show they were due to the amount of time the cars were running on curbs at high speed.
Valtteri Bottas suffered the most high-profile failure of his left-front tire when his deflated at the start of a lap before he had made his pit stop, and the two Williams drivers soon followed suit. While all three had run long stints, the McLaren of Lando Norris was earlier in a hard-tire run when his front left also failed, with Pirelli sending tires back to Milan for analysis.
As the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend kicked off, Pirelli delivered initial findings to the teams and FIA ahead of track running in order to give them an understanding of the situation as quickly as possible, with work ongoing to investigate other factors.
“Based on the findings obtained so far, the origin of the problem is mainly due to the amount of time these tires were run on the curbs, at high speed and with considerable lateral and vertical loads: a situation unique to the Losail circuit,” a Pirelli statement read.
“The heavy demand caused by running over these curbs, which isn’t possible to measure from the data available before the race, damaged the tire construction and led to a loss of pressure in the internal sidewall, which consequently caused the structure to collapse after several seconds.
“Pirelli has shared all the technical details of the analysis carried out so far with the FIA and the teams.”