Pirelli has revealed that punctures suffered during Sunday’s British Grand Prix were as a result of high tyre wear and not debris.
Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag for Mercedes despite having to navigate the final lap with a puncture – while team-mate Valtteri Bottas and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz also suffered similar issues with the same front-left tyre.
The fact that all three cars had delamination on the same tyre raised suspicions of wear issues rather than Hamilton, Bottas and Sainz all running over debris.
Pirelli completed their post-race tests and announced on Tuesday afternoon that there were a combination of factors which prompted the punctures: early pit stops, long stints on a testing circuit and faster cars than in previous years.
“Pirelli has concluded its initial analysis on a number of tyres that were run at the British Grand Prix last weekend,” their statement read.
“This allowed to identify the cause of the failures followed by deflations that affected both Mercedes and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz.
“The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres.
“The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.
“Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 Formula 1 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history.”
Given the unique nature of the 2020 F1 season following the disruption to the early calendar caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there will be another race at Silverstone this weekend.
In their statement, Pirelli also confirmed they will be offering their C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres, one step softer than those used last time out, for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.