Pirelli is conducting a thorough investigation into what may have caused Lewis Hamilton’s tyre failure in Bahrain last weekend.
In the wake of the Bahrain Grand Prix, we reported rumours that some were questioning the mere safety of the official Formula 1 supplier’s already-controversial 2013 tyres.
Those rumours had been triggered mainly by Felipe Massa’s two separate failures in the race on Sunday, but it is believed both problems were subsequently found to have been caused by simple punctures.
However, the practice failure on Hamilton’s Mercedes is raising alarm bells.
“They (Pirelli) are not entirely convinced it is down to debris, as first thought,” British journalist Byron Young wrote in the Mirror newspaper.
Young said the damaged tyre was taken back to Pirelli’s Milan headquarters for a forensic investigation.
The suspicion is that the tyre failed because of the way Mercedes’ car was handling the heavily-degrading Pirellis in Bahrain’s high ambient conditions.
“The Hamilton tyre is something that we need to look at a lot more to understand as we are not really sure about how it happened,” Pirelli’s Paul Hembery admitted.
“We will take all the pieces apart and do a full lab analysis,” he said.
“That will either confirm our initial findings, or make us realise that we need to do something and have to implement some changes.” (GMM)