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Pirelli: Slow puncture caused Vettel's tyre failure

2017-07-21 20:01

Image: AP / Jason Cairnduff

Milan - Formula 1 tyremaker Pirelli has concluded that Sebastian Vettel's shredded tire last weekend at the end of the 2017 British Grand Prix was caused by a slow puncture.

The Ferrari driver appeared to be heading for third place at Silverstone until his front left tire suddenly blew apart two laps from the finish. The four-time F1 champion managed to steer his Ferrari back to the pits for a tire change, and secured seventh place to cling onto his championship lead.

As it happened: 2017 British GP

British driver Lewis Hamilton won the race to cut Vettel's overall lead to one point.

Italian manufacturer Pirelli said in a statement: "A full investigation has now confirmed that the original cause of the failure was a slow puncture. The consequent driving back to the pits on an underinflated and then flat tire led to the final failure."

Vettel's Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, also experienced a similar tire failure one lap before Vettel in a remarkable finish.

Raikkonen was set for second place but his tire problem allowed Valtteri Bottas to complete a Mercedes one-two with Hamilton. The Finnish driver even looked set to lose his podium spot to Vettel, but in a bizarre twist he ended up third after Vettel's problem occurred.

Pirelli said: "Raikkonen's damaged tire shows less evidence of what occurred, so further tests and analysis are still ongoing in Pirelli's laboratories and indoor testing facilities. It will take a few more days to reach a definitive conclusion."

The championship continues at the Hungarian GP next week.

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