Bridgestone Conclude Tyre Investigation

Bridgestone believe that circumstances beyond their control were to blame for Michael Schumacher's double tyre failure at the Spanish Grand Prix after concluding their investigation into the blow-outs, Autosport-Atlas has learned

Bridgestone Conclude Tyre Investigation

The two left-hand side tyres on Schumacher's Ferrari that failed within three laps of each other at the Spanish Grand Prix were flown to Bridgestone's headquarters in Tokyo this week for a thorough examination to find the causes of the problem.

After looking at the tyres, and tyre pressure data produced by Ferrari, Bridgestone have discovered that the rear tyre failure was as a result of the tyre structure getting weakened during the early race Safety Car period, while the front tyre failed after being damaged by debris.

A Bridgestone spokesman told Autosport-Atlas: "The loss of air in the rear left tyre on lap 44 was likely to have been caused by the tyre pressure dropping during the Safety Car period at the start of the race.

"It is possible that as a result of the reduced pressure and the high forces placed on the left side tyres at the Barcelona circuit, the structure of the tyre was weakened. This resulted in the deflation.

"There are clear signs that the front left tyre, which deflated on lap 47, was damaged by an external object - most probably debris.

"It is unusual for this to have happened twice and on the same side but from the evidence the tyre deflations were caused by two very different reasons."

The conclusions from the Bridgestone investigation will provide some relief for Ferrari, because at least the failures were not the result of simple tyre wear - which would have been a cause for greater concern.

"The wear on the tyres was within acceptable levels with the grooves in place and although Rubens Barrichello, who was running the same specification of tyre as his teammate, experienced some blistering on his tyres, he did not report any similar issues," added the Bridgestone spokesman.

Bridgestone are now working on improvements to the tyres to ensure that future Safety Car periods do not lead to a repeat of the rear tyre failure.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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