Pirelli investigates Hamilton Imola F1 rear tire vibration issue
Pirelli is investigating rear tire vibrations suffered by Lewis Hamilton during the last Formula 1 race at Imola and has confirmed the cause of Max Verstappen’s failure.
Red Bull driver Verstappen suffered a rear right tire failure 12 laps from the end of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix two weeks ago, forcing him to abandon the race.
He was not the only driver with tire problems as Mercedes was forced to handle a vibration on race leader Hamilton’s hard set, raising fears the set was damaged.
Hamilton eventually operated soft tires under the late safety car called in following Verstappen’s failure, allowing him to take a new set and avoid any vibration issues in the final stages.
Pirelli’s analysis of the Verstappen failure showed his right rear tire had cuts, and while Mercedes did not experience the same issue with Hamilton, an investigation is underway.
“It started off with a bit of vibration, and we decided to pit the car on the safe side,” said Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff.
“This is something that is not yet understood about the tire. The tire has remained intact and has been sent to Milan for analysis, and we are awaiting the results.”
“I can confirm that we are analyzing the tire with the team,” added Mario Isola, Pirelli F1 tire manager.
“The results will be shared with the team. As Toto said, there has been no loss of pressure, just an increase in vibration during the race. We are studying the construction.”
Verstappen’s tire failure investigation at Imola showed a series of cuts that ultimately meant the tire was unable to hold the loads it was subjected to, causing the instantaneous failure.
“We found cuts on the tread and sidewall, both on the inside and on the outside,” Isola said.
“We believe the cause of the failure was damage to the center of the tread which caused damage to the belts and the casing, so the belts started to come off as a result of this damage.
“At one point when the carcass couldn’t hold the load, we got the deflation that everyone saw on TV.
“We shared the analysis with the FIA and the team, and that’s the proof we have.
“Obviously, it is difficult to analyze a tire that is in pieces, but we immediately returned the Imola tire to our laboratories in Milan, and we made an investigation as a priority.”
Source: autosport.com; uktimenews.com