Sebastian Vettel says he cannot say he has full trust in Pirelli’s Formula 1 tyres in the wake of two failures during the most recent race in Azerbaijan.
Vettel’s Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen both suffered left-rear failures that pitched them into the wall at the Baku City Circuit.
Pirelli outlined its conclusions on Tuesday, determining that the cause was a “circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre.”
The company stressed that Red Bull and Aston Martin had adhered to the prescribed conditions when checked.
On whether he had full confidence in the structural integrity of the tyres Vettel said: “I think the short answer would be I can’t say 100 per cent yes and I can’t say 100 per cent no.”
He also outlined that safety must be paramount when it comes to determining a long-term solution.
“When the tyre obviously fails we need to understand why that is,” he said.
“From our side there’s nothing to add but it’s also clear the first priority is that the tyres are safe and it’s not really news that that can be quite challenging.
“You’re going at high speeds; you’re going at low speeds; you’re braking very hard; it can be very hot outside; the tarmac can be smooth or it can be rough; you have Safety Car windows where we have to follow the Safety Car because there’s a hazard on the track and we go very, very slowly.
“In that case the tyre pressures drop dramatically, you have a green flag and everybody goes flat-out straight away.
“So the stress on the tyres no doubt is very, very high but it is a product that should be designed first of all to be as safe as possible.
“Over the last years we had plenty of occasions, I think there’s always been a proper follow-up and report, but from our side – and I can I think only speak for us drivers – the priority is clearly that the tires are safe and safety has the highest priority.
“Everything else, every other interest, will always have to come second.”