Formula One’s official tire supplier Pirelli remains uncertain as to the cause of Lewis Hamilton’s puncture during final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The blowout had a damaging effect on Hamilton’s car and his race weekend. The failure wrecked his suspension and gearbox – the latter had to be replaced which forced Hamilton to take a five-place grid penalty.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery told Autosport: “We will take all the pieces apart and do a full lab analysis. That will either confirm our initial findings, or make us realize that we need to do something and have to implement some changes.”
“There will be a full analysis. We treat every incident very seriously.”
Giedo van der Garde, who was running behind Hamilton at the time, also suffered a puncture which was caused by a piece of metal. Pirelli originally believed this also caused Hamilton’s tire to fail, but not admit they are “not really sure about how it happened”.
Having initially examined the tire at the circuit, Pirelli has taken it to their headquarters in Milan for further examination.
Pirelli remain convinced that both of Felipe Massa’s punctures during the race were caused by debris.
Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull stands a “decent chance” of signing off from the 2017 Formula 1 season with a victory in next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After a slow start to the year, Red Bull made massive gains across the course of the season by developing its RB13 to end the season as front-runners, rivaling Mercedes and Ferrari for pace.
The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi has a number of slow-speed sections that should suit the RB13 car, with Ricciardo optimistic about his chances of not only ending his podium drought at the track, but even winning the race.
“Yas Marina has actually been one of my favorite tracks over the years,” Ricciardo said in Red Bull’s pre-race preview.
“It’s been a bit like Suzuka for me though, a track that I’ve always enjoyed and gone well on but not quite reached the podium at. I broke that trend in Suzuka this year so hopefully I can do the same in Abu Dhabi.
“When you have so much time away from the car in the off season it helps to sign off with a strong result as it makes you feel like you really deserve a break.
“I think we should have a strong car in Abu Dhabi. I said I want another win before the season is out and I think we have a decent chance of achieving that.”
Red Bull has claimed three race wins through 2017, with Ricciardo’s victory in Azerbaijan being followed up by successes for teammate Max Verstappen in Malaysia and Mexico.