Vettel does not have 100% trust in Pirelli tyres

Henry Valantine
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel says he can’t say he 100% trusts Pirelli tyres while driving on them, following two high-speed incidents in Baku.

The Aston Martin driver saw his team-mate Lance Stroll go off at around 190mph into the wall when his left-rear tyre failed on the main straight in Azerbaijan.

Max Verstappen suffered the same fate in his Red Bull five laps from the finish, which left the four-time World Champion left wondering who would be next to crash at the time.

Pirelli initially blamed both incidents on having debris on the circuit, but a further investigation concluded that a break in the inner sidewall of the tyres caused the failures.

The tyre manufacturer were quick to point out that they don’t believe there was a production defect in the tyre’s construction, but Vettel is not fully convinced he can push flat out on his rubber in his Aston Martin.

“I think the short answer would be, I can’t say 100% yes, and I can’t say 100% no,” Vettel told reporters when asked if he trusts the structural integrity of Pirelli’s tyres.

He was also asked if he felt more concern driving on Pirelli tyres than he had with previous manufacturers, but Vettel said: “No, I don’t think I need to add a lot.

“The demands are very high and it’s not always easy to get everything right.

“So, if you’re trying for the perfect product, to make everybody involved happy, probably it’s not going to happen.

“I think I’ll leave it there. I’ve said enough.”

Lance Stroll Azerbaijan GP crash 2021

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Sergio Perez, who went on to win in Baku, also spoke on the subject after team-mate Verstappen’s crash, which the Dutchman labelled as “life-threatening” and urged Pirelli to “take a look at themselves” after their investigation was released into the high-speed incident in Azerbaijan.

Red Bull confirmed they stuck to the tyre manufacturer’s parameters throughout the weekend, but Pirelli blamed the way the tyres were being run for the sidewall failures last time out.

But for the Mexican, he hopes for a solution as safety remains paramount in Formula 1.

“From what we’ve seen in Baku, all the teams have stuck to the regulations or what Pirelli has asked for us to do,” Perez said.

“And it’s a concern. We know that Baku’s a special place and so on but still it’s a concern what happened.

“We’ll see what they come up with. It’s all about our safety in those moments.”

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