Vettel admits he can't trust Pirelli tyres '100 per cent'

Sebastian Vettel says he cannot trust Pirelli's tyres '100 per cent' following the failures that happened recently in Baku.

Vettel's Aston martin teammate Lance Stroll and Red Bull's Max Verstappen both suffered spectacular rear-left tyre failures in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Pirelli's investigation into the two incidents concluded that's the tyres had not failed due to "a production or quality defect", with the Italian manufacturer suggesting that "the running conditions" of the tyres were to blame.

Both Aston Martin and Red Bull were adamant that they had run the tyres to the parameters prescribed by Pirelli, while the tyre supplier confirmed that both outfits had followed the company's prescribed starting parameters in terms of pressures and temperatures.

Asked whether he implicitly trusted Pirelli's tyres, the Aston Martin driver said that he couldn't put his full faith behind the product.

"I think the short answer would be I can’t say 100 per cent yes and I can’t say 100 per cent no," Vettel replied.

"When the tyre obviously fails we need to understand why that is.

"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."

And Vettel believes that Pirelli has always put safety at the forefront of its considerations.

"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 tyres are safe and safety has the highest priority.

"Everything else, every other interest, will always have to come second."

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Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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