What Happened With Ferrari’s Tire Failures at Silverstone?

What happened, who’s to blame, and what will be done about it.

byJames Gilboy|
F1 photo

Toward the tail end of Sunday's British Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen suffered failures on their front left tires. This knocked the two from fourth and second to seventh and third respectively, granting Mercedes a one-two finish and closing the gap for this season's World Drivers' Championship to a single point—Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton, their point tallies standing at 177 and 176. In the aftermath of the race, Ferrari's Maurizio Arrivabene, Sebastian Vettel, and Pirelli have made their positions on the incident clear to each other and to Formula One fans.

Formula One journalist Gianlu D'Alessandro pointed out that both Ferraris, running on the same Soft compound tires, experienced their respective failures in the same part of the track.

Mario Isola of Pirelli acknowledged the team's woes and the losses incurred by the eerily similar failures, though he noted a significant difference between the damage seen on Vettel's tire and that seen on Räikkönen. "We believe but it has to be proven that the model failure of the two tires is different. So we need to investigate," said Isola, according to Motorsport. "What we can exclude that we had any carcass failure on Kimi’s tires because the tire was still inflated [...] Sebastian had a different issue with a loss of air, so we have to understand." Isla has confirmed that the tires will be taken to company facilities and examined for the cause of failure, along with setup data from Ferrari, to determine if the team was at all responsible for the tire damage.

Maurizio Arrivabene was quick to waggle his pointer finger in the direction of Pirelli. "Although the reasons to us are obvious, it is not Ferrari's style to complain about losing a second and fourth place," he said to Bild.

Sebastian Vettel was less quick to throw his own blame elsewhere. "I don't think anyone is particularly to blame. With hindsight everything is easy."