Debris caused Hamilton puncture

Bridgestone suspects that Lewis Hamilton's tyre failure in the Hungarian Grand Prix was a puncture caused by debris - but the Japanese company is still not completely sure

Debris caused Hamilton puncture

Hamilton lost any chance of winning at the Hungaroring on Sunday when his left front tyre suddenly deflated on lap 41 as he braked for Turn Two. He lost time returning to the pits but still recovered to finish fifth.

Bridgestone analysed the tyre after the race and its initial conclusion suggests that it was punctured by debris - although it does not know exactly with what or how because the tyre got so badly damaged when Hamilton returned to the pits.

Further examination will be needed and the tyre will be flown to Japan for a more detailed inspection.

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's director of motorsport tyre development, told autosport.com: "We have not found the actual cause but there is a high possibility of a puncture.

"We could not see any debris on the tread surface, although we could not analyse the shoulder area because he ran half of a lap with a depressed front tyre and the sidewalls were badly damaged. So the possibility is of a side cut, and then after that it depressed suddenly."

There is a chance that a cut was made in the tyre in one of the areas where Hamilton had a flat spot on the tyre.

"He made many flat spots, that is true," said Hamashima. "When there is a flat spot, it means there is a very thin shoulder area close to the ground. So maybe a sharp stone touched the sidewall, meaning there was a possibility to cause a puncture."

Hamashima ruled out a stress failure or any problem relating to excessive tyre wear - as Hamilton has suffered in the past.

"We could not see a problem like 2007 in Turkey, or the small problem in Turkey this year." said Hamashima. "I think the tyre itself would have been no problem."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Jonathan Noble
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