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Pirelli

Ralf Schumacher cautious about blaming Pirelli for tyre failures

Pirelli have been facing scrutiny since the dramatic tyre failures of Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher is keeping an open mind about what could have caused the incidents.

Article
To news overview © Red Bull/Getty

Ralf Schumacher is remaining cautious about blaming Pirelli for the dramatic tyre failures that were seen during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll was the first to be hit by a tyre blowout, which caused him to crash at half-distance in the race. Max Verstappen then suffered a very similar incident as he led the Grand Prix with just five laps remaining.

Whilst this does not seem to reflect well on Pirelli, Schumacher is keeping an open mind about what might have contributed to the events.

"I suspect, at least with Stroll, that something like that was his undoing, because at that point there was no accident where he could have any caught carbon parts," Schumacher told Sky Sports.

"I'm not sure about Verstappen. But I think Pirelli's analysis will reveal the cause. Lewis Hamilton's tyre also had a cut, but I think he caught it from Verstappen's parts because he was right behind him.

"For Pirelli, of course, it looks very bad at the moment as a single tyre brand. I think we still have to be careful and see whether the punctures were not due to external circumstances."

The tyre failures have sparked concern amongst several figures in Formula 1, including Sebastian Vettel who admitted to wondering who else might be affected after the two incidents.

"I was on the safer side because my tyres were fresher than everyone else’s but when Max had the same issue, it was quite clear that… who’s next? That sort of thing," the four-times World Champion told RacingNews365.com and other select media.

"I don’t know why but this is not supposed to happen so I think there needs to be a bit of an investigate because it’s probably the worst place of the year you want to have this.

"It could go massively wrong if you get it wrong so close to also to pit entry, to the wall there. We are doing well over 300kph. Yeah, I was a bit concerned but then with the red flag then I knew we’re all fitting different tyres and it should be fine."

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