Sebastian Vettel’s dramatic tyre blow-out in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix was likely caused by debris on the track, supplier Pirelli said on Wednesday.
Pirelli said analysis of the few remaining parts of the Ferrari’s right rear tyre, along with comparison to other tyres used in the Formula One race, had thrown up no sign of fatigue or structural failure.
“Consequently, the issue appears to be caused by an item of debris, which led to the breakage of the tyre,” it said in a statement.
Ferrari driver Vettel had been leading the race when the tyre exploded on the pit straight on the 27th of the 71 laps.
“I didn’t feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue. There were no signs before that, everything was normal,” said the four-times champion at the time.
“I spoke with the people on the pit wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tyres felt fine, the lap times were fine. It’s completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure.”