Red Bull and Aston Martin did run lower pressures

Date published: June 18 2021 - Editor

Max Verstappen Red Bull Pirelli

Pirelli has finally shed some more light on their findings from the two high-speed crashes in Baku caused by tyre blow-outs.

Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll both suffered similar crashes at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and, in their initial findings, the Italian tyre manufacturer said that the tyre failures were due to the ‘running conditions’ of the tyres at the time – which caused a break in the inner sidewall of Stroll and Verstappen’s left-rears.

While Red Bull and Aston Martin both issued statements to say they complied with all regulations regarding the tyres, Pirelli boss Mario Isola has since stated that their respective tyres did not inflate to the expected levels when they headed out on track and that, according to Pirelli, was the specific cause of the crashes.

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“What happened in Baku is simply that the running conditions expected were different compared to the actual running conditions – and that created the failure,” Isola told reporters in France.

“When you have a lot of energy going into the tyres, with the pressure that is lower compared to the expectation, the result is that on the sidewall you have what we call standing waves.

“Standing waves are putting a lot of energy into the inside shoulder of the tyre. And at a certain point, the tyre breaks. That is what happened, and the reason why we had this situation in in Baku.”

Isola did go on to state that neither Red Bull or Aston Martin broke the rules regarding tyre pressures, the issue was instead down to Pirelli’s initial parameters and margins not providing an accurate reflection of what they were then seeing out on track – due to the teams creating an unforeseen scenario as they searched for performance.

“When we prepare the prescriptions [for minimum pressure], we receive the simulations and we consider margins,” he said.

“The expected loads, the downforce or the speed, are simulated, so it is not exactly the value that we find on track. And in this case in Baku, we also found some parameters that were not exactly what we found on track.”

“We assume that they are running at a certain pressure, and a certain camber. And with a margin on it, of course, we run in a condition that is okay for the tyre.

“In that case, we didn’t achieve these conditions, not because teams were doing something against the regulations, but because they were looking as usual for performance, and that created a different scenario to what we were expecting.

“And the different scenario was that mainly the tyres were running at a lower pressure compared to expectation.”

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