Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll’s Baku crashes not due to tyre defects – Pirelli

Max Verstappen speaks ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Pirelli came under fire after Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen both suffered high-speed failures to their left-rear tyres on the fastest part of the track in Baku.

Both crashes sent the drivers into the barriers at speeds approaching 190 miles per hour. Thankfully, both drivers emerged unscathed from their respective incidents.

It was initially suggested that debris may have caused the two spectacular failures, but those claims were swiftly refuted by the teams themselves.

And, in a statement, Pirelli have themselves stated that the issue was not due to any externally-acquired damage, instead attributing the blowouts to the “running condition of the tyre.” 

“Pirelli, in conjunction with the FIA, has completed the analysis of the left-rear tyres involved in the incidents that affected Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen during the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix,” the tyre manufacturer’s official statement began.

“This analysis also took in the tyres 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.

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“The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination.

“The causes of the two left-rear tyre 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 tyre, 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. 

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“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’s statement was followed by a statement by Red Bull Racing, who made clear that they had followed all the guidelines and protocols with regard to tyre operations during the Grand Prix.

“We have worked closely with Pirelli and the FIA during their investigation into Max’s tyre failure on lap 47 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and can confirm that no car fault was found,” the statement began.

“We adhered to Pirelli’s tyre 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.”

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