Hamilton says Pirelli ‘not at fault’ for Baku blowouts

Finley Crebolder
Lewis Hamilton press conference

Lewis Hamilton press conference

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t believe Pirelli are at fault for the sudden tyre failures that occurred at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Italian company was widely criticised after the race in Baku, in which Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen both crashed out at high speeds after their tyre blew up without any warning.

After conducting an investigation, Pirelli claimed that the failures were not caused by a defect in the tyres but instead in how Aston Martin and Red Bull were running them with regard to the pressure levels.

Shortly afterwards, both teams released statements denying any wrongdoing, but Hamilton feels they probably were to blame.

“As you know every weekend, whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up – so that tells you something,” he told reporters in France.

“More often than not, [it’s] that the tyres are not being run at the pressures that are being asked. We didn’t have a problem with our tyres.

“I think they’ve done a great job with the tyres this year, they’re more robust than before, and I think in this particular instance, I don’t think Pirelli are at fault.”

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Given what happened last time out, the FIA are introducing more thorough checks on the tyres that will be used at the French Grand Prix.

This pleases Hamilton, who feels the governing body hasn’t policed such things enough in the past.

“At the end of the day, safety is always the priority, and for me and for my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate,” the Mercedes driver added.

“So I was very surprised naturally to see that they [the FIA] had to clarify those, which obviously, you can take what you want from that.

“I’m happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it, and I think what’s really, really important from now is how they police it, because they’ve not been policing how the tyres are being used, tyre pressures, tyre temperatures, and we need to do better.

“It’s great that they’ve done a TD, but it’s the action now. We need to see them really follow through and be really vigilant to make sure that it’s equal across the field.”

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