Lewis Hamilton's dangerous Silverstone blow-out was 'Mercedes' fault'

Lewis Hamilton’s dangerous blow-out on his way to British Grand Prix victory on three wheels was not caused by debris on Silverstone track but due to ‘extremely long use’, say Pirelli

  • Lewis Hamilton won his seventh British Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend
  • But the British F1 driver suffered a puncture during the final laps of the race
  • Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz also had tyre problems during the Grand Prix
  • An investigation by Italian company Pirelli blamed the problems on the teams
  • Pirelli say that the tyres were used for too long and that the debris had no impact 

Lewis Hamilton’s tyre malfunction during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has been blamed on Mercedes and not on the debris on the track. 

The six-time Formula One world champion staggered over the finish line with three wheels and sparks flying out of his vehicle during his victory at Silverstone, with two other drivers suffering tyre issues during the race.

But Pirelli conducted an investigation into the malfunction said that the drivers’ teams had simply used the tyres for too long, with the debris having little impact on the incidents. 

Lewis Hamilton’s tyre problem during his British Grand Prix win has been blamed on Mercedes

Tyre company Pirelli conducted an investigation and said Mercedes used the tyres for too long

A statement from Italian company said: ‘The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres.

‘The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint, around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.

‘Combined with the notably-increased pace of the 2020 Formula One cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula One cars in history.

‘The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play.’  

Finnish diver Valtteri Bottas (above) also suffered tyre issues which caused sparks to fly

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was the third F1 driver at Silverstone to suffer a tyre malfunction

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas also had a front-left wheel issue during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix, as did McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. 

After the race, the British F1 legend was adamant that the debris on the track was the cause of his tyre issue.

The 35-year-old said: ‘I’m convinced that it probably was debris.

‘There was a lot of debris on the track, there was one car ahead of me, it may have been Kimi or someone like that, that lost his wing, came off right in front of me on one of the laps.

Despite the problem, Hamilton (right) held on for a crucial British Grand Prix victory

It is the seventh time that 35-year-old Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone

‘From the Safety Car, there was debris all the way through into Maggots and Becketts. I don’t think that was cleaned up.

‘The tyre was working totally fine, to the point I think I could have pushed and done some decent laps towards the end pace-wise, but fortunately I didn’t.

‘Moving forwards, we’ll look into how we can do better. But honestly I think as you could see with my pace, my tyre management was spot on.’

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