Hamilton: Pirelli 'not at fault' for Baku blowouts

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Lewis Hamilton stood by the conclusions of Pirelli's investigation into the tyre failures that occurred in Baku, insisting the manufacturer was "not at fault" in his opinion.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll both suffered spectacular crashed in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but Pirelli's subsequent forensic analysis of the incidents concluded that "there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination", and pointed to "the running conditions" of the tyres.

Pirelli's findings - which have triggered a protocol change by the FIA with regard to controlling tyre pressures - have therefore led to suspicions that Red Bull and Aston Martin had perhaps somehow tampered or impacted their tyre pressures in a bid to achieve a performance gain.

"As you know every weekend, whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up - so that tells you something," he said ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix.

"More often than not, [it's] that the tyres are not being run at the pressures that are being asked. We didn't have a problem with our tyres.

"I think they've done a great job with the tyres this year, they're more robust than before, and I think in this particular instance, I don't think Pirelli are at fault."

Hamilton said he was happy to see the FIA ramp up its scrutiny and control of tyre pressures, starting this weekend at Paul Ricard.

"At the end of the day, safety is always the priority," he said. "And for me and for my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate.

"So I was very surprised naturally to see that they [the FIA] had to clarify those, which obviously, you can take what you want from that.

"I'm happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it, and I think what's really, really important from now is how they police it, because they've not been policing how the tyres are being used, tyre pressures, tyre temperatures, and we need to do better.

"It's great that they've done a TD, but it's the action now. We need to see them really follow through and be really vigilant to make sure that it's equal across the field."

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