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Brazilian Grand Prix 2023

Pirelli on alert over Brazil puncture problems as FIA 'informed'

Punctures found after the only practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix have put Pirelli on high alert ahead of qualifying. Head of Motorsport Mario Isola has given the details after FP1.

Pirelli tyre
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Pirelli Head of Motorsport Mario Isola has revealed the Italian tyre manufacturer has "informed" the FIA to clean the Interlagos track surface after punctures were found at the end of practice for the São Paulo Grand Prix.

At least two cars were forced to pit during the weekend's only hour of practice to change tyres after punctures were detected on data.

It is the second time in four races that Pirelli's tyres have come under the spotlight after practice after the safety concerns of the Qatar Grand Prix, where mandatory stint lengths were imposed to ward off potential delaminations during the remainder of the Sprint weekend at the Lusail International Circuit.

But suggesting the issues in Brazil were down to factors outside of Pirelli's control, Isola told media including RacingNews365.com: "We had a couple of punctures due to debris.

"We also found a couple of cuts on the tread and obviously, we are going to inform the FIA to clean [the track].

"I believe the problem is in the pit lane rather than on track, but we have to pay attention because we had a couple of genuine punctures on the tread."

Alonso 'sandblasted' during practice

One of the drivers to have picked up a puncture was Fernando Alonso, who was on a set of Hard tyres during Aston Martin's practice programme when forced to box.

Indicating there were no prior concerns over the state of the track from a safety perspective, the team's Performance Director Tom McCullough explained: "We always walk the track and measure the track to understand the grip level and state of the track.

"It was very dirty, where the rainwater has been running across the track with the mud, you could see that as you're going around.

"We always report back what we think to the track to the Race Director.

"We said it was dirty, we didn't actually notice any debris like Mario was saying, maybe in the pit lane.

"But when Fernando did his first run, the comments he had were lots of stones... he felt like he was being sandblasted as he was driving and we could see the front wing and the front of the car taking a hard hit.

"So we subsequently ended up with a puncture on the left rear tyre, so that curtailed some of his running and we had to adjust the plan to suit that."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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