Vettel tyre deflation under investigation, Pirelli reports
Pirelli says its engineers are investigating the sudden deflation of Sebastian Vettel’s tyre, which caused the world champion to retire from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with damage to the rear of his car. The tyre deflation marked the end of Red Bull Racing’s streak of podium finishes – the F1 team had a podium presence during the last 19 finishes – and it is also the first time in 19 races that Vettel has retired.
“Together with Red Bull Racing, we’re still examining the remains of Sebastian Vettel’s tyre in order to try and piece together what happened,” commented Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. “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. But until we know for sure, there’s no point in speculating.
“With the dropping temperatures, our soft and medium tyres were faced with slightly different track conditions to normal, with different teams trying a very wide variety of strategies, from one to three stops,” Hembery continued. “I’ve been told that last year there were just 11 overtaking manoeuvres here, so this year certainly presented quite a contrast.”
Victory in Abu Dhabi went to Lewis Hamilton, who claimed his third win of the season and 17th of his career. Hamilton took the lead on the first lap after Vettel was forced to retire.