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Williams "anticipated" Pirelli tyre failures - Russell

Williams "anticipated" Pirelli tyre failures - Russell

F1 News

Williams "anticipated" Pirelli tyre failures - Russell

Williams "anticipated" Pirelli tyre failures - Russell
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

George Russell has revealed the wide-scale Pirelli tyre failures during the Qatar Grand Prix were "anticipated" by Williams.

Russell was one of four drivers along with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, McLaren's Lando Norris and Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi to suffer from a front-left puncture with each driver insisting there was no indication the tyres would fail.

The future Mercedes driver stated, however, that Williams had "anticipated" the tyre issues due to the lateral loads placed on the tyres at the Losail International Circuit.

“[There was] no warning, but we actually anticipated that prior to the race," explained Russell.

"It was just the outside shoulder, that front-left that was a limitation, probably 10 centimetres on the outside front-left, and it would literally just go at some point.

“The reason for it is that we just didn’t have enough pace in the high-speed corners leading onto the straights.

“The guys were already behind me in the high-speed corners. If I’d managed any more they would just have overtaken me regardless.

“Nothing to be disappointed about regarding this puncture. It was a factor of not having enough speed for the rest of the lap.”

Asked whether Pirelli could have done more to prevent the failures, Russell added: “These Formula 1 cars are so fast, tyres wear.

“You go through those right-hand corners, flat out in seventh gear, I don’t know what the exact speed is - 270, 280 kilometres an hour - it’s going to happen.

“For whatever reason, this track is impressive as to how hard you could push, it was relatively smooth, which allowed the drivers to push flat out.

“Probably from my whole F1 experience, this was the race where it was the highest tempo, if that makes sense, in terms of how much you could push.

“That was really enjoyable but obviously it didn’t work out for us.”

Williams pace contributed to tyre failure

Williams has struggled for pace since its mini-resurgence mid-season, with both drivers struggling to maintain pace with the midfield in Qatar.

Russell believes that the performance of the FW43B contributed to the tyre woes.

“It is a factor of the load and the speed going through," he said.

“You’ve got quite a lot of steering angle, and that outside front, probably half of the tyre is taking an absolute pounding.

“You see it on the wear plots, with everybody up and down the pit lane really struggling.

“What was needed was a lot of high-speed management but unfortunately for us the battering and the lack of pace you couldn’t manage because the guys were just naturally overtaking.”

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