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Hamilton backs Pirelli amid Verstappen blowout criticism

Hamilton backs Pirelli amid Verstappen blowout criticism

F1 News

Hamilton backs Pirelli amid Verstappen blowout criticism

Hamilton backs Pirelli amid Verstappen blowout criticism
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lewis Hamilton has backed Pirelli in the wake of the two high-speed tyre failures during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver's F1 championship rival Max Verstappen, along with Lance Stroll, were both victims of blowouts on the fastest part of the Baku City Circuit.

Pirelli's investigation, however, found no sign of defects in the structure nor any signs of delamination or fatigue.

Despite Red Bull and Aston Martin being cleared of any wrongdoing, Verstappen was critical of the Italian manufacturer's response to the situation, asking them to "speak out" to make the issues more understandable.

Seven-time champion Hamilton hinted at possible indiscretions by other teams when pointing out the increase in tyre pressures for this weekend's French Grand Prix. "The integrity of tyres across the weekend, whenever there is a failure they always put the pressures up so that tells you something - more often than not that the tyres are not running at the pressures that have been asked," explained Hamilton.

"We didn't have a problem with our tyres and I think the tyres are...I think they have done a great job with the tyres this year.

"They are more robust than before and I think in this particular instance, I don't think Pirelli are at fault."

Hamilton "surprised" by guideline changes

The pressure increase is part of a technical directive given to teams to ensure there is no repeat at Paul Ricard this Sunday.

Hamilton, however, has revealed to being surprised at seeing changes made given he experienced no such issue with Mercedes running within the set parameters.

On his reaction to the incidents, he said: "I am kind of in two minds. At the end of the day, safety is always the most priority.

"For me and my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate so I was very surprised, naturally, to see that they had to clarify those rules which obviously, you can take what you want from that.

"I am happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it and what is really, really important from now is how they police it, because they have not been policing how the tyres are being used, the tyre pressures and tyre temperatures and we need to do better.

"It is great they have done a TD, but it is the action now we need to see. We need to see them really follow through and be vigilant to make sure it is equal across the field."

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