Verstappen "still not happy" with Pirelli tyre failures explanation

Max Verstappen says he remains unhappy with Pirelli’s explanation of the Baku tyre failures as he does not “think it’s fully clear” for Formula 1 fans.

Damage on the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Verstappen’s late-race tyre failure in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix he had been dominating, as well as a similar incident for Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll earlier in the race, has been much discussed during this weekend’s subsequent event at Paul Ricard – where Verstappen will start Sunday’s race from pole position ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton.

After conducting an investigation into the Baku failures, Pirelli had issued a statement saying the ‘running conditions’ of the tyres during the race had contributed to the failures – and later explained that Red Bull and Aston Martin cares were running on track with lower pressures than expected.

But it was also clear that neither squad had broken any rules, as both had operated to regulations required for minimum starting tyre pressures and maximum blanket temperatures.

Pirelli motorsport boss, Mario Isola, told the media at Paul Ricard that “the running conditions expected were different compared to the actual running conditions and that created the failure”, as the psi level calculation the starting pressures are based on did not rise as expected when the cars were running on track, which led to the problems.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, climbs out of his car after crashing out from the lead

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, climbs out of his car after crashing out from the lead

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

A meeting between Pirelli, the FIA, F1 and all the drivers took place on Friday, where the Baku failures and general tyre safety were discussed. A BBC report claims Hamilton and Verstappen had a disagreement in that meeting.

The pair where then asked if they were satisfied with how the tyre safety matter had been handled, as well as about what had been said in the meeting.

“I’m happy of course with how everything is, let’s say, better policed,” Verstappen said.

“But I’m still not happy with the explanation of what happened in Baku because I don't think it’s fully clear. At least for people outside, the fans.

“I know what happened. The team knows what happened but yeah, it’s very confusing what they put out.

“But, it’s fine. Life goes on. We just keep on going. Hopefully from now on we can just be safe in the car, and nothing happens.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Hamilton, who gave his answer before Verstappen in the post-qualifying press conference, said: “I don’t have any problems with what was said in the meeting.

“I guess, as I said the other day, I was surprised that things needed clarifying because we thought it was clear – but clearly not!

“And so I am grateful that the FIA have clarified the steps that people need to take, and I heard they’re obviously putting things in place to make sure policing is done better, so that’s all we can ask for.”

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