Sunday, 30 June 2013

Tyre failure wrecks Hamilton’s hopes at British Grand Prix

Lewis Hil
Sudden tire failure wrecked Lewis Hamilton's hopes of a home British Grand Prix victory on Sunday after the Mercedes driver had led from pole position.

Formula One's 2008 world champion led from the start but suffered a dramatic failure on lap eight when his left rear tyre suddenly deflated on the Wellington Straight at Silverstone.
The Briton struggled back to the pits on three wheels and a rim, with the remains of the tyre carcass flailing around, before he could pit in 18th place and resume in 21st.

Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa suffered a similar failure two laps later, pitting and returning in last place, before Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne brought out the safety car with another blowout on lap 15.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel led the race but the team said they had also found cuts in the German's left rear tyre at the pitstop.

Sergio Perez was the first driver to suffer a left-rear tyre failure during final practice yesterday.
Pirelli previously said Perez’s failure was caused by a cut in the inner sidewall of the tyre.

With three rear left failures in quick succession, drivers were advised to take care over the kerbs with teams trying to work out whether the problem lay with the Pirelli tyres or debris on the circuit causing punctures.

Pirelli say the spate of tyre explosions seen during the British Grand Prix had a “new” cause and they are investigating the problems.

“Obviously today wasn’t foreseen,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery after the race. “We’ve seen something new, a different type of problem.”
“We’re currently performing as ever our analysis. We’ve got to go away and understand what happened today. When we’ve got the facts then we can understand what’s happened and get to the core of the issue. We take these things seriously and when we have the answers we’ll let you know.”

Pirelli have been called by the FIA to attend a meeting of the Sporting Committee ahead of next week's German GP at the Nurburgring in wake of the alarming tyre failures that overshadowed Sunday's British GP.

Following the sight of four left-rear tyres failing at high speed in the race at Silverstone, it is understood that FIA President Jean Todt has summoned F1's tyre manufacturer to appear at a meeting with team bosses and other relevant parties at the Nurburgring on Wednesday.

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