Pirelli has determined that a slow puncture was the cause of Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 tire failure towards the end of last Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Vettel suffered a failure on his front-left tire on the penultimate lap of the race at Silverstone while running third, forcing him into a late pit stop that ultimately left him P7 at the checkered flag.
The incident was just minutes after Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen had also hit trouble with his front-left tire, although Pirelli stressed after the race that the incidents were unrelated.
Pirelli announced on Friday that, after conducting extensive analysis of the tire, it could confirm that its initial belief that Vettel had suffered a puncture was indeed correct.
“As appeared clear since Sunday afternoon, a full investigation has now confirmed that the original cause of the failure was a slow puncture,” Pirelli said.
“The consequent driving back to the pits on an underinflated and then flat tire led to the final failure.
“Kimi Raikkonen’s damaged tire shows less evidence of what occurred, so further tests and analysis are still ongoing in Pirelli’s laboratories and indoor testing facilities.
“It will take a few more days to reach a definitive conclusion.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.