F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer says Formula 1 faces a ‘real and serious’ problem if tyres are failing despite teams following Pirelli’s protocols.

F1 faces "serious problem" over tyre failures, says Aston Martin

The Silverstone-based outfit suffered a high-speed tyre blow out with Lance Stroll at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with a Pirelli investigation concluding that it was caused by the running conditions of the rubber.

The suggestion is that Aston Martin’s car, plus the Red Bull which also suffered a blow out with Max Verstappen, was running with tyre pressures that were not as high as had been expected.

However, with Aston Martin clear that it followed the rules at all times and was above the minimum pressure laid out by Pirelli, Szafnauer says the situation is something that must be looked at to ensure there is no repeat.

“It's a real and serious problem that we've got to get on top of,” he said. “I think we're lucky to only break the car and not anything else. So, we've got to make sure it doesn't happen again.

“We will follow the new prescriptions. We have always been within the parameters that both the FIA and Pirelli set for us.”

Asked if he was surprised that Pirelli had concluded that the trigger for the accident was that the pressures were not what was expected, Szafnauer said: “I'm surprised that that was the conclusion.

“We followed all the prescriptions to the letter, and we were never ever under the minimum pressure. So, we had stabilised pressures, they were higher [than advised]. That's normal. That's usually what happens.

“The pressures on the grid that were checked, were above the minimum. So yeah, I don't know what their expectations were. But I would imagine their expectations are that the pressure comes up. But that's exactly what happened with us.”

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, on the pit wall

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO, Aston Martin F1, on the pit wall

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Szafnauer’s concerns over safety come with Formula 1 drivers’ body the GPDA having written to the FIA, F1 and Pirelli to seek assurances about safety.

For while the debate about who should be responsible for what happened in Baku remains unresolved, the GPDA is clear that the safety of drivers must never be compromised in the quest for improved performance.

A statement from the GPDA said: “The GPDA is in constant communication with FIA, F1 and also Pirelli, and whenever an incident and/or accident happens we communicate with them and other relevant parties. Consequently after Baku we communicated with all stakeholders about the two accidents we witnessed.”

Although GPDA chairman Alex Wurz declined to elaborate on the contents of the letter, he was clear that the focus on safety was key.

“For the GPDA it remains a high-speed accident and therefore we request the involved stakeholders to apply the highest attention for short and long term improvements,” he said.

shares
comments

Related video

Vasseur: Mistake to push Pourchaire to F1 too early
Previous article

Vasseur: Mistake to push Pourchaire to F1 too early

Next article

Mercedes could delay decision on second 2022 F1 seat until winter

Mercedes could delay decision on second 2022 F1 seat until winter
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022