Tyre failed 'out of nothing' - Vettel

© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel says there was no warning over the spectacular tyre failure which forced him to retire from the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was leading the race having yet to pit for the first time when his right rear tyre failed on the pit straight, resulting in him sliding into the barrier on the inside of the track. Vettel had just completed his 26th lap on supersoft tyres when the incident occurred, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen pit after 22 laps.

Asked if it was his decision to stay out so long, Vettel replied: “No it was our decision.

"It was clear everybody had much more tyre life than we expected going into the race so in the end 27 laps is not much for that compound. Kimi did more than 20 laps on the ultrasoft, there were other people that had more laps on the supersoft. Out of nothing the tyre exploded.”

Vettel said his pace had also not dropped off yet in a sign of tyre degradation prior to the failure.

“I think I obviously felt it when it was too late and the tyre exploded out of the blue. There were no signs before that, everything was normal. I also spoke to the people on the pit wall, everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before.

"Everything was the same as the laps before, so no sign for the failure.”

And Vettel said Ferrari was simply trying to extend its first stint as long as possible based on the way other teams had handled the start of the race.

“Obviously the idea was to go as long as possible, everybody was going longer on the tyres than expected. Nobody came in in the first ten laps, so, yeah, not much to say. Completely a question mark over why the tyre failed.”

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