Pirelli reveals damage from contact caused Raikkonen's Silverstone tyre issue

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Pirelli has confirmed there was no integrity issue with the tyre that failed on Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari towards the end of the British Grand Prix.

Both Scuderia drivers suffered tyre problems in the closing laps of the race at Silverstone but immediately Formula 1's official supplier made it clear two separate issues were likely to blame.

Now that has proven accurate as the first investigation into Sebastian Vettel's failure concluded a slow puncture was responsible and now the conclusion from a more prolonged look into the Finn's problem has been revealed.

“The results of the analysis on Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen’s front-left soft compound tyre showed specific damage in two places at the edge of the belt close to the internal shoulder area,” a statement read.

“The possible initial cause of this damage is consistent with contact against an external body, leading to a partial separation of the belt from the carcass in the two affected areas. In one of these two places, as a logical consequence, part of the tread also became detached.

“This damage is not present throughout any other areas of the tyre whatsoever. Furthermore, the belt and the structure do not show any signs of fatigue,” it added.

To summarise, Pirelli believed contact, either with a kerb or with part of the car, which in this case would likely be the brake duct, led to a wearing away of where the rubber compound meets the main tyre itself.

The Italian company also confirmed that no other tyres were at risk of failing, despite Max Verstappen's precautionary pit-stop and Lewis Hamilton admitting he had eased off in response to the Ferrari problems.

“A number of detailed tests have since been carried out, both destructive and non-destructive, on other tyres used by frontrunners at the British Grand Prix with a similar or bigger distance on them compared to the set used by Raikkonen (for 25 laps),” Pirelli said.

“On no occasion was there any sign of fatigue, detachment or laceration – or even the beginning of such problems – that affected the structure of the tyre. In conclusion, Pirelli can confirm that no issues have emerged connected with the tyre itself.”

 

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