Pirelli: New bonding process ruled out as cause of British GP tire problems (VIDEO)

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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has told Formula One’s official website that while a final, exact cause for the multiple tire blowouts in today’s British Grand Prix has not yet been found, the tire manufacturer’s new bonding process was not to blame.

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez all suffered blowouts during the event, which was won by Nico Rosberg.

“At the moment, we can’t really say much more until we have fully investigated and analyzed all of these incidents, which is our top priority,” Hembery said in his comments. “However, we can exclude that the new bonding process, which we introduced at this race, is at cause for the tyre failures we have seen today.

“There might be some aspect to this circuit that impacts specifically on the latest version of our 2013 specification tyres but at this point we do not want to speculate and will now put together all the evidence to find out what happened and then take appropriate next steps should these be required.”

Pirelli had planned to bring in modified tires for the Canadian Grand Prix, but rain in Montreal led to a vote amongst the teams that scrapped the plan and the company instead opted to try and correct delamination issues with the aforementioned bonding process.

The Silverstone incidents have brought a fresh wave of criticism toward Pirelli, with Massa declaring the blowouts as “unacceptable” and “very dangerous.”

Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
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Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

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“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had.

“I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”