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Aston Martin fear "real and serious problem" with Pirelli tyres after Baku failures

Aston Martin fear "real and serious problem" with Pirelli tyres after Baku failures

F1 News

Aston Martin fear "real and serious problem" with Pirelli tyres after Baku failures

Aston Martin fear "real and serious problem" with Pirelli tyres after Baku failures

Otmar Szafnauer has expressed concern there is "a real and serious problem" with Pirelli's tyres after claiming Aston Martin adhered to all guidelines in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll and Red Bull's Max Verstappen both suffered spectacular blowouts in Baku, prompting a Pirelli investigation that highlighted a failure on the inside left shoulder of the tyre.

Pirelli boss Mario Isola suggested the failures arose due to Aston Martin and Red Bull seeking performance and running the tyres at pressures during the race that were lower than expected.

Szafnauer, however, has strongly denied the claim. He said: "We've worked with the FIA and Pirelli to investigate the root cause, and we shared all the data, everything we have with the FIA and Pirelli.

"There was no car fault whatsoever, the tyre didn't rub, the sidewall didn't rub, and we were well within the prescribed parameters that the FIA and Pirelli gave us", adding that was the case "at all times".

Asked to explain Pirelli's findings if his team adhered to Pirelli's directions, Szafnauer replied: "I'm surprised that was the conclusion.

"We followed all the prescriptions to the letter, and we were never, ever under the minimum pressure.

"We had stabilised pressures, they were higher, and that's normal, that's usually what happens, and the pressures on the grid that were checked were above the minimum.

"I don't know what their expectations were but I would imagine the pressure goes up, and that's exactly what happened with us."

Aston Martin will adhere to new guidelines

Questioned as to who was then responsible and how concerning the failures were if the guidelines were followed, Szafnauer remarked: "It's a real and serious problem that we have to get on top of.

"We were lucky to only damage the car and not anything else, so we've got to make sure it doesn't happen again."

As to whether the current tyres are safe enough, he added: "I don't know. We ran Sebastian [Vettel] with the same car, utilised the same parameters and his tyres didn't fail. They failed on Lance's car.

"I don't know what the other teams were doing, but Sergio's [Perez] tyres didn't fail.

"We have to get them to a point where they are robust and we have no failures."

For this weekend, the FIA and Pirelli have issued an 18-page technical directive firmly making clear the guidelines that must be adhered to.

"We will follow the new prescriptions and we will always be within the parameters both the FIA and Pirelli set for us," said Szafnauer.

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