Verstappen: No warning sign before tyre 'blew off the rim'


Max Verstappen says he felt no warning sign before suffering a tyre failure that sent him into the wall and deprived him of a sure win in Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Red Bull charger was confidently leading the field with five laps to go when the left rear tyre on his RB16B suddenly failed as he was charging down the main straight.

“I didn’t see anything up until the moment suddenly the tyre just blew off the rim and it’s not a nice impact to have, it’s quite a dangerous place to have a tyre blowout at that speed," he said.

"All fine with me, the car not so much, but up until then, I think we had a very strong race. I was basically matching the lap times that I had to do and we were fully in control.

"We lost out on a lot of points, we could have opened up that gap in the championship as well, so to have this happening, especially so close to the end, it’s very frustrating."

Only an investigation by Pirelli will determine the cause of the blow-out, but the incident mimicked the failure suffered earlier in the race by Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, which led to speculation of an outright structural failure rather than a puncture.

Speaking later to Ziggo Sport, Verstappen took aim at Pirelli, suggesting the manufacturer will need to answer to Sunday's tyre incidents.

"Sometimes it's a shitty sport when things like this happen," said the Dutchman. "We drive lap after lap and everyone drives the same line.

"It's weird that it only happens to me. I think they cleaned things up well from Stroll's crash. Probably Pirelli will say again that it was because of carbon debris, which was the case in Imola last year.

"The fact is that another tyre blew up. Not just with me, but with Stroll.

"Just hugely frustrating and with a bit of luck we are still first in the championship, but we could have made the gap much bigger."

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