Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has launched a strong defence of his team's one-stop strategy at the Belgian Grand Prix, after tyre manufacturer Pirelli asserted that the Italian outfit was to blame for the German's blow-out.
On the penultimate lap of Sunday's race, Vettel suffered a right-rear explosion at 200mph, and speaking after the incident the four-time World Champion did not hold back in his criticism of Pirelli, saying the tyre situation was simply "not acceptable" and that if it had happened 200m earlier than "I'm f****d".
Pirelli fired back by insisting that if their requests had been heeded, a maximum lap limit would be in place and this would have prevented Vettel from attempting a one-stop strategy, with Pirelli suggesting that the 43-lap race at best required two stops.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has indicated that the two parties are set to discuss the issue before the Italian Grand Prix, but Vettel has deemed it necessary to further defend his team's strategy.
"Just to make things clear: the team and I decided our strategy for the race together," he wrote on his official website.
"I support the team and the team supports me, and this is what makes us a team.
"Our strategy was never risky, at any point. The team is not to blame.
"We deserved to finish on the podium, but that's racing; a different thing though is not to finish the race because of what happened.
"This is not easy to accept for a driver, even if it's not as bad as in Silverstone a few years ago [when numerous blowouts occurred during the 2013 British Grand Prix].
"But still we need to talk to each other as it can't happen without prior notice."