McLaren driver Lando Norris says Pirelli “should make the tyres better” after he was one of four racers to suffer a failure during Formula 1’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli brought its three hardest compounds to the high-energy Losail circuit and advised that a one-stop strategy was an improbable proposition.
While several drivers executed such a strategy, including podium finisher Fernando Alonso, four other drivers suffered failures during the race.
Williams duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi both had front-left failures after 32 laps on Hard tyres while Valtteri Bottas was on lap 33 when his front-left Medium tyre failed.
Norris, running in fourth place, suffered a front-left failure only 24 laps into his second stint on Hard tyres.
He came into the pits for an unscheduled second stop and ultimately wound up ninth.
“I didn’t expect the tyre to blow up,” said Norris. “Especially not on the Hard tyre. We were not that far into the stint, it was like 20 laps or something, and a tyre should be able to go more than 20 laps.
“At every track you look after the tyre because the tyre wear out a bit, but you do not expect it to suddenly let go completely. Quite dangerous for a lot of people I guess, and that shouldn’t happen.”
Norris explained that the failure happened “all of a sudden” through Turns 13/14 and was frustrated by the outcome.
“They should make the tyres better,” he said. “It is dangerous for us as drivers, right? We risk a lot every time.
“If we cannot drive a Formula 1 car around the circuit, then what should we do. I did like 20 laps, not even a very long stint. 20 or 25 laps or whatever, I should be able to still drive around the circuit.”
Pirelli suggested long stints, and aggressive kerb usage, contributed to the failures but will carry out a thorough investigation at its Milan laboratory.