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.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”