Vettel: Nobody to blame for tyre failures

Tom Howard

Monday 17th July, 2017 - 12:49am

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel refused to lay the blame at his Ferrari team for a late costly tyre failure during the British Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver suffered front left puncture on the penultimate lap which saw him drop from fourth to seventh at the chequered flag.

Vettel’s failure arrived moments after team-mate Kimi Raikkonen encountered a similar problem that saw him surrender second spot.

The tyre drama compounded a difficult day for Vettel as he witnessed his championship lead cut to a point following Lewis Hamilton’s victory.

“I don’t think there’s anyone particularly to blame,” said Vettel, when asked if a decision to pit earlier prompted the tyre failure late on.

“Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay.

“Kimi I think had a similar issues, and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher. So I think it caught us both by surprise.

“I think it could have been a little bit better for sure, but disaster I don’t think so. I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright.

“The brakes caught fire at the start which compromised the start, and from there it was a difficult race.

“I didn’t get past Max (Verstappen), I did it with the pitstop, and then it was looking like P3, P4. It was clear that Valtteri (Bottas, who finished second) would come, obviously he benefitted in the beginning because I got stuck.

“Overall small things here and there led to a busy afternoon.”

Raikkonen said there was no warning before his tyre failed.

“Everything was going more or less normally,” Raikkonen explained.

“The gap was fine for us. Two laps from the end, I don’t know what happened – before Turn 6 (Brooklands), under the tunnel, the tyre didn’t explode but the rubber part came off suddenly.

“I don’t think I hit anything, everything felt normal before, luckily I came back.

“I struggled a bit after that because the tyre was flapping around, (but) we managed to get a decent position.

“I was very unlucky and, in a way, lucky, but didn’t want to see the same happen to Seb and then a lap later. I don’t know what happened.”