Max Verstappen unhappy with ‘vague’ Pirelli tyre blowout explanation – ‘Cannot blame us’

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Championship leader Max Verstappen believes Red Bull deserved a better explanation for why they suffered a massive tyre blow-out whilst leading the Azerbaijan Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was the first to suffer a terrifying blowout, catapulting the Canadian into the wall on lap 30.

Verstappen meanwhile, was leading the way in the Red Bull, with just a handful of laps to go before he suffered a similar issue. The Dutchman hurtled full-speed into the concrete on the start/finish straight.

“Personally not, because for me it was just a bit vague what came out,” said Verstappen ahead of the French Grand Prix when asked if he was satisfied with the response Pirelli gave.

“The only thing I can say from our side, I think the team did everything like they should’ve done.

“I mean they followed all the guidelines with tyre pressures and stuff, so there was nothing to be found there, for sure we’ll go up on pressures here for this weekend, 100% sure we will.

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“Probably it had something to do with that, what happened in Baku, but it would also be nice to just know if it was tyre pressure-related, just speak out, would be a bit easier to understand than the explanation we got so far, because the team didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Of course, they explained that they don’t have measurement tools during the race, but we gave them our tyre pressures and they were within the limits they set.

“If those limits are not correct, there is nothing we can do about it, we just follow what is possible within the rules.

“If that means that we have to go up on pressures, we will – everyone will go up on pressures.

“But they say they didn’t have the correct measurements, but we gave it to them after the race and it was shown that we didn’t do anything wrong there.

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“And also, Aston Martin didn’t do anything wrong.

“So, they cannot put the blame on us. I think they have to look at themselves.

“And we are here, happy to help of course with everything.

“They already went up on pressure from Friday [in Baku] to Saturday, so that means something.

“Maybe it wasn’t enough. We’ll go up on pressures here, for sure, and hopefully, that’s enough.”

Formula One’s official tyre supplier initially suspected debris to be the cause of the issue, as they also found a cut in Lewis Hamilton’s tyre, however, results were officially revealed on Tuesday, ahead of the French Grand Prix.

Pirelli’s statement read: “This analysis also took in the tyres used by other cars in the race, which had the same or a higher number of laps on them compared to the ones that were damaged.

“The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination.

“The causes of the two left-rear tyre failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified.

“In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed.”

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