Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to suddenly have a flat tire after a long stint on the medium tires (35 laps). Later in the race, George Russell (31 laps on hard), Nicholas Latifi (31 laps on hard) and Lando Norris (23 laps on hard) followed. Mario Isola, tire boss on behalf of Pirelli, will not have been happy about that. He therefore announces an investigation.
“We are going to investigate the flat tires,” he says in conversation with RacingNews365 and others. “But I think the cause is the hard impacts with the kerbstones. That is because we have a lot of exit lanes with kerbstones here that the drivers go over.”
“It’s no secret that the drivers suffered damage to their floors, chassis and front wings earlier this weekend. To understand what happened, we need to send the tires back to Milan (to headquarters, ed.) and examine them.” There are some cuts on the side, the weakest part of the tire, so we have to understand that.”
Although it was of course not nice that the tires got flat, the Italian emphasizes that they were not blowouts. An investigation is therefore still perfectly possible.
“The problems came suddenly, but they were not immediately serious. The drivers were still able to drive back to the pitlane to get new tires. So it was possible to check. The tires are in relatively good condition, they are not completely destroyed, so we can examine them.”
“We will also examine the other tires from other drivers that they used during the race. For example, Alonso avoided the curbs and his tires are still intact, so we need to understand if that was the cause, or if other elements contributed to it.”
Nothing is excluded
Despite the fact that Isola has a brown suspicion about the cause of the failing tires, he does not want to rule out anything and there will in any case be an extensive investigation en route to the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, which will be held in Jeddah in two weeks.
“We don’t want to rule out anything, so that’s why we want to examine all four punctures and the tires of other drivers. That way we can understand what happened and we can rule out other causes. So we can’t rule out that it was different causes.”
“We are going to see where the cuts are and what they look like. It’s still difficult now, because we can only do a visual inspection here on the track. We don’t have material here for an extensive investigation,” concludes the Italian.