The 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was one of the most exciting races in Formula 1 as of late. We saw Sebastian Vettel back on the podium following his switch to Aston Martin. Subsequently, Sergio Perez claimed his first victory under Red Bull Racing. There was also no Mercedes driver on the podium for the first time after multiple races.
That wouldn't have been the result of the race, however, if the tires of Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen didn't blow out. The tire blowouts subsequently caused them to crash in two separate incidents. While the drivers emerged unscathed, their crashes forced a safety car and the session to be red-flagged, respectively. It also caused Pirelli to launch an investigation as to why the tires failed.
Initially, Pirelli, and most fans, believed debris was the main cause of the two incidents. However, the tire manufacturer recently released the results of their investigation which showed that this was not the case.
“The causes of the two left-rear tire failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been identified. In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tire, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed,” said Pirelli in a statement.
Pirelli adds that there was no production or quality defect found in the tires that blew out. Furthermore, there was also no sign of fatigue or delamination.
To prevent a repeat of Baku from happening, Pirelli has submitted the results to all ten teams and the FIA. They have also issued new pressure and tire blanket protocols which will be enforced at the upcoming race weekend.
Red Bull has since responded to Pirelli's result of the investigation, and issued a statement: “We have worked closely with Pirelli and the FIA during their investigation into Max’s tire failure on lap 47 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and can confirm that no car fault was found. We adhered to Pirelli’s tire parameters at all times and will continue to follow their guidance.”