Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s late and unexpected Formula 1 tyre failures in the 2017 British Grand Prix were not related, according to the initial analysis of Pirelli. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers suffered issues with their front-left tyres within the space of two laps late on at the Silverstone track, which in the end cost the Maranello team many important points in the Formula 1 Constructor Standings, as rivals Mercedes swept to a one-two finish.
The incidents looked similar, yet Pirelli spokesman Roberto Boccafogli confirmed after the race that they were separate and not related to one another: “Sebastian got a puncture. He was very much near the end he got a puncture, from what, we won’t know exactly. For sure he flat-spotted when he was fighting with Bottas, maybe he was fighting sometimes on the kerb because he was defending a position and so on. You are a job, you make your job to go to the podium. The different thing is with Kimi, when he came to the pits it was totally inflated. He was not having any total failure to the tyre. The tyre was worn out, of course, and started having trouble to the treads because it was near the finish. This is the point. He could enter just losing a position and start again. It was fully inflated. The tyre now is fully inflated. But very much damaged on the tread of course.” – the Head of F1 Communications with Pirelli explained, as reported by Tuttosport on Sunday evening.
Roberto Boccafogli added that Pirelli would now be conducting a full investigation into the incidents with Scuderia Ferrari, but that it was already sure they were not related: “We are analysing deeply the two tyres because things are different. We are analysing them together with Ferrari because we want to go to the very final point to what originated the failure of course. But the thing is different. If you see the tyre is inflated and worn out starting showing the cable. With Vettel, you don’t see that. You see the tyre worn out which was broken on the inside because he got a puncture and this was the point.” – Pirelli spokesman Roberto Boccafogli said.
Sebastian Vettel confirmed at the end of the British Grand Prix that he had no warning the tyre was about to fail: “It was very sudden. Once Valtteri past, I dropped the pace and tried to get the car home so it was quite sudden when the tyre decided to go and not take me to the end of the race. I turned everything down and just tried to make sure we got the car back home. We were talking about tyres as well, we were pretty sure that they would be fine but in the end Kimi had something similar with the tyre that was six laps fresher. For sure the tyres were not brand new, they were on the car for 30 odd laps but what we predicted in terms of wear it should have been no problem.” – Sebastian explained.