Last weekend’s Azerbaijan GP was a race to remember. 51 laps that ended with Pérez first win for Red Bull and a podium completed by Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly were a total run of emotions partly because of the struggles the Pirelli white compound gave to all the teams of the grid, but especially to Red Bull and Aston Martin, as the rear-left tires of both Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll exploded in the middle of the two cars' run through the big Baku straight.
The C3 Pirellis that were established as the hardest compound for Baku exploded apparently with no previous vibrations or warning signs with around 30 laps under the involved driver’s belts in a serious high-speed condition.
“We need to clearly establish the facts behind the incidents involving Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen to fully understand what happened. (1/4)— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) June 6, 2021
Following the incidents at F1’s championship round 6, the official supplier committed itself to investigate and reach the problem of what could have been two dangerous accidents, taking the evidence to Pirelli’s headquarters on Milan to dig in the causes of what cost Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll their respective races.
Today, a statement was released from Pirelli’s ´part, less than a week to go to the French GP, in which the Italians determined that, even though the specific regulations for the tyres were perfectly followed by the teams, the breaks found in the sidewall were likely caused by the “running conditions” of the tyre.
“The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination. The causes of the two left-rear tyre failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified. In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tire, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed.”
“This analysis also took in the tyres used by other cars in the race, which had the same or a higher number of laps on them compared to the ones that were damaged.”
Red Bull however sticks to the version that proves that no car or team fault was found responsible for the blow-ups and says that the team commits totally to every protocol the FIA and the tire-manufacturer add to the usual procedures. Pirelli also added that these are a must-do and new procedures are already ready to go for the next race in Paul Ricard.
We have worked closely with Pirelli and the @FIA during their investigation into Max's tyre failure on lap 47 of the #AzerbaijanGP and can confirm that no car fault was found. We adhered to Pirelli’s tyre parameters at all times and will continue to follow their guidance. pic.twitter.com/Y1xE7FyaKf— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) June 15, 2021
“As a result of this analysis, Pirelli have submitted their report to the FIA and the teams. The FIA and Pirelli have agreed a new set of the protocols, including an upgraded technical directive already distributed, for monitoring operating conditions during a race weekend and they will consider any other appropriate actions,” the statement concluded.