The frenetic end of Sunday’s British Grand Prix was brought on by a series of late race tyre blowouts for both Mercedes drivers and Carlos Sainz.
Valtteri Bottas reported blistering and vibrations ten laps from the end and with three laps still to go his tyre blew forcing him to pit and eventually finish outside the points.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also was dealt a cruel blow when a potential fourth place was lost when his front left tyre punctured heading into Stowe.
Race leader Lewis Hamilton’s burst at the end of sector 1 on the final lap. Hamilton spectacularly was able to complete the lap and win with six seconds to Verstappen at the end despite no front left at all.
Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of F1 and Car Racing said after the race: “We’ll of course be investigating exactly what happened to the tyres on the two Mercedes cars as well as that on the McLaren of Carlos Sainz in the final two laps of the race.
“What we already know for sure is that the tyres involved in these failures were extremely well-used, with nearly 40 laps of running; albeit some behind the safety car.
“The race was very much influenced by the safety car, with the second one prompting a pit stop for nearly everyone, leading to a very long second stint. After a complete analysis we will be able to understand fully what happened, which will obviously be very valuable information for next weekend.”
Next weekend, in order to make the racing different at the same track, the tyre compounds take a step down with the tyres shifting from C1, C2 and C3 to C2, C3 and C4 as hard, medium and soft respectively.
Tyre issues with the supposed hardest tyres Pirelli offer after 40 laps makes the step down a very interesting prospect for next weeks event, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
This compounded with very hot temperatures being forecast invite potential for a very different strategic showing than Sunday’s British Grand Prix which was only ever going to be a safe one stop.
Three tyre failures is embarrassing for Pirelli at the Grand Prix they sponsored. AlphaTauri are conducting their own investigation for a suspected fourth tyre failure in the race for Daniil Kvyat’s mega crash at Maggots early on as well.