Formula One’s official tire supplier Pirelli believe Felipe Massa’s punctures during the Bahrain Grand Prix were caused by debris.
Massa was forced to make extra pit stops on lap 17 and 36 during yesterday’s race after suffering right-rear tire failures.
“Looking at the tires the initial analysis is that the first one had a very small cut in the top of the tire,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, adding the likely cause was “parts from another car”.
“The second tire had a big cut in the sidewall, very aggressive,” he added. “There were no reports of contact with Felipe so we still need to talk with Ferrari about what happened but as we say, initially, two very big cuts for the tire.”
Massa’s two problems left him 15th in the race, ending his 13-race streak of consecutive top ten points finishes.
“I was really unlucky in this race and even if it’s true that many things can happen in this sport, I can’t find an explanation for why so many of them have to be negative,” bemoaned Massa after the race. He added he’d experienced understeer during the race but did not believe it was related to his tire failures.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.