Tyre failure ruled out as cause of Vettel deflation 16 Nov 2011
Following an extensive investigation into the sudden deflation of Sebastian Vettels right-rear tyre on the opening lap of Sundays 2011 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Pirelli have ruled out a structural failure as the cause.
Following the incident at the first corner, Vettel completed a lap in order to return to the pits, during which the flapping rubber caused damage to the bodywork and running gear, forcing the world champion into his first retirement of the year.
Although not much remained of the tyre afterwards, there was enough for Pirellis engineers to carry out a full investigation, in collaboration with Red Bull Racing. Having subjected the tyre to minute analysis, structural failure of the tyre or valve has been ruled out as a cause of the incident. Track debris or other outside circumstances cannot be excluded as a possible cause.
We can confirm that a structural failure was not the cause of Sebastian Vettels deflation in Abu Dhabi, a conclusion that we have arrived at together with Red Bull Racing following a detailed examination and analysis of the remains of the tyre, said Pirellis motorsport director Paul Hembery. We cannot rule out debris on the track causing damage to the tyre, which then provoked a deflation, but having looked at the track closely there is no direct evidence of this.
The tyre in question was a part of a set of softs that Vettel had used to qualify on pole at Yas Marina the day before the race.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.