McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has said there was no pre-warning for the “sudden death” of Carlos Sainz’s tyre at the British Grand Prix.
The first of two race weekends at Silverstone was looking set to be an underwhelming opener, that was until the closing stages of the race when the Pirelli rubber decided to take care of the entertainment factor.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was the first to suffer with a tyre failure in the closing stages, whilst the same happened to team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was able to crawl around the final lap on three wheels and still beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to the line and claim victory on home soil.
Bottas’ issue briefly promoted Sainz to P4 in the race, but the Spaniard then suffered his own tyre failure and would finish all the way down in P13.
And it is likely to cause great concern for Sainz since McLaren have no explanation for the “sudden death” of his tyre.
As quoted by Autosport, Seidl said: “Carlos was reporting some vibrations early on in the race, in his stint on the hard tyres, but there was nothing extraordinary.
“It was a sudden death of the tyre, and obviously very disappointing at the moment for the entire team and especially for Carlos. But at the same time, that’s part of racing, that happens in racing. It’s important to look at the positive stuff from today, learn from what was not ideal, and do it again next week.
“We didn’t have any signs of a tyre failure coming.
“We knew we had to manage the tyres for this long stint on the hards, but there were no concerns from our side or from Pirelli’s side that we could complete the stint, and we are seeing with several cars there were issues in the end. But I think it’s also important now to not jump to conclusions too early.
“I feel very sorry for Carlos because he showed us a very strong drive today.
“He felt comfortable with the car all weekend, he did some great manoeuvres on track, straight after the restart.
“Everything worked to plan, the pitstop worked to plan, so in the end everything was under control to finish in a strong P4, or even in P5, if you would figure in the failure of Bottas in the end.”
Pirelli had brought the C1, C2 and C3s to Silverstone for the British GP, the hardest in their range, though softer compounds will be brought to the 70th Anniversary GP to be held at the circuit over the upcoming weekend.
But Seidl made it clear that McLaren would work with Pirelli over any requirements they may put in place.
“It’s important to wait for the thorough analysis of Pirelli, together with the teams, of what was actually causing these tyre failures,” he said.
“In theory it could be also down to some debris.
“So we need to wait for that, and then I’m sure Pirelli will make the right conclusions taking into account also the expected ambient conditions for next weekend, where it looks we’ll get some really high ambient temperatures again.
“And then I’m sure they will make the right conclusions in terms of first of all the tyre selection.
“We need to wait for the analysis, and then I’m sure we will make the right decisions with Pirelli in terms of safety. Safety always has the highest priority, but again at the moment we can’t make any judgement or conclusion.”