IN THIS IS­SUE

“Ev­ery­thing was fine, and then...”

Motor Sport News - - News - Pho­tos: LAT

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel says he is still baf­fled by the tyre fail­ure that cost him the chance of fight­ing for vic­tory in last week­end’s Aus­trian Grand Prix.

The Fer­rari driver was lead­ing at the time of the fail­ure, while most oth­ers had al­ready stopped.

The Ger­man was try­ing to ex­tend the first stint on the su­per-soft tyre as long as pos­si­ble be­fore the dra­matic blow-out on lap 26.

Vet­tel said there was no warn­ing of any tyre trou­ble and he doesn’t un­der­stand why it hap­pened.

He said: “There were no signs be­fore that, ev­ery­thing was nor­mal. It’s com­pletely a ques­tion mark on why the tyre failed.”

Vet­tel added that he didn’t think Fer­rari were tak­ing a risk by leav­ing him out for so long on older tyres, as other driv­ers had also man­aged lengthy stints on even softer rub­ber.

“It was clear ev­ery­body had much more tyre life than ex­pected, so 27 laps is not much on that [su­per-soft] com­pound,” he said.

“Ev­ery­body was try­ing to go longer on the tyres. Kimi [Raikko­nen] did more than 20 laps on the ul­tra-soft, there were other peo­ple who did more laps on the su­per-soft.”

Pirelli is try­ing to es­tab­lish what hap­pened but be­cause the whole tread was lost as a re­sult of the ex­plo­sion it makes it harder to iden­tify the cause. The tyre firm has dis­missed claims that the fail­ure was caused by de­bris, in­sist­ing there’s not yet any proof that was the case.

Fer­rari boss Mau­r­izio Ar­riv­abene was baf­fled as to why Vet­tel was the only driver to suf­fer.

“We are talk­ing with Pirelli to un­der­stand the rea­son,” he said. “Other teams were run­ning with­out any prob­lem. This is re­ally strange. That hap­pened when he was lead­ing the race and all of a sud­den, with no prior warn­ing.”

Vet­tel: Dis­ap­pointed Vet­tel was lead­ing at time of the fail­ure

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