Tyre-maker Pirelli is still no closer to determining the cause of what it has called (in a masterful statement of the obvious) the “sudden deflation” of Sebastian Vettel’s right-rear tyre that led to his first retirement of the season.
Vettel’s lead of the 55-lap race lasted all of two corners when his Red Bull suddenly snapped away from him on the opening lap when the tyre went pop. The tyre was completely shredded by the time the German managed to limp his car back to the pits.
“It certainly seems to be a very unusual incident and we’ve already been to look at the place with Sebastian: there seems to be no reason that is immediately obvious and the set of tyres was one that he had already used for qualifying,” Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said after the race.
Vettel is equally at a loss to explain the failure, which several commentators attributed to him having run over Turn 1’s exit kerbing a little too aggressively.
Hembery, however, won’t yet jump to conclusions until a full analysis can be run.
“There are so many possibilities for why a tyre can go down, but we are not going to find out right now [here in Abu Dhabi] because of the limited resources that we have,” he added.
[Original image via LAT]