MX23RW : Monday, January 21 04:02:17

Ferrari helping Pirelli with tyre explosion probe

Ferrari and Pirelli are investigating the race-ending tyre explosion that stopped Sebastian Vettel in his tracks on Sunday.

Ferrari and Pirelli are investigating the race-ending tyre explosion that stopped Sebastian Vettel in his tracks on Sunday.

The German driver was leading the Austrian Grand Prix when a rear tyre exploded and ended his race at the Red Bull Ring.

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene denied suggestions that Ferrari pushed the boundaries by running the tyres for too long on Vettel's car.

"No," he said. "We wanted to go even longer and had plenty of feedback from Seb that we were on the safe side.

"There were no signs on the telemetry, nothing from Sebastian that there was something wrong. Then the tyre broke."

Coming at the end of a weekend in which several cars' suspensions were destroyed over harsh new kerbs at the Red Bull Ring, Arrivabene said that could not be ruled out as the cause.

"It's too early to say but it's possible," he said.

"It's just strange that we are apparently the only ones with such a problem.

"We are working closely with Pirelli on the analysis. When I started work here [at Ferrari], I said I would always tell the truth, and the truth is I don't know what happened."

The sister car of Kimi Raikkonen went on to finish third in Austria, but Arrivabene would not be drawn on what he thinks Vettel might have achieved.

"Vettel was leading and according to our calculations, he would have finished the race near the front. How far forward, we will never know," he said.

With the two Mercedes drivers clashing yet again, meanwhile, what Arrivabene would say is that similar trouble between Vettel and Raikkonen is much less likely.

"I leave this issue to Toto [Wolff]," said Arrivabene.

"I am happy with Kimi and Seb. I cannot imagine a situation like that at Mercedes with our own two drivers."

The championship continues with the British Grand Prix on Sunday.


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Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari looks on as he sits in the garage during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 5, 2015
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