Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton’s jaw-dropping British GP tyre blowout blamed on Mercedes and not debris on Silverstone track

FORMULA ONE teams have been told the dangerous blow-outs suffered at Silverstone were NOT caused by debris on the track.

Lewis Hamilton crossed the line with only three wheels after a last-lap puncture while Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz also suffered front-left failures in the closing laps of the race.

Tyre manufacturers Pirelli confirmed the punctures on Sunday were down to the teams leaving them on for too long and not debris on the track

Bottas and Saniz finished outside of the points while Hamilton said he was left feeling like his heart was going to stop.

The world champion said he believed debris had caused the tyres to all puncture but worryingly Pirelli say that was not the case.

The Italian company conducted an investigation and said it was the teams’ faults for leaving their drivers for too long on the old tyres, citing “the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula One cars in history”.

A Pirelli statement said: “The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres.

“The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint, around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.

“Combined with the notably-increased pace of the 2020 Formula One cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula One cars in history.

“The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.”

The findings will concern teams as Sainz, Bottas and Hamilton had no warning that the tyre would burst, while Daniil Kvyat also had a strange blow out.

Pirelli will stick with its original plan to go one step softer for this weekend’s 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone, however they will insist on them inflated to a higher minimum pressures as a safety precaution.

Hamilton held on to just about claim victory at his home Grand Prix for the seventh time

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