Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both suffered tyre failures at the 2020 British Grand Prix, but while Bottas’ puncture happened earlier and ruined his race, Hamilton’s front left tyre failure happened in the final lap of the race and he still managed to score a victory on three wheels.
Mercedes wasn’t as lucky in the next race (that was also held at the Silverstone Circuit) and tyre problems led to the first of Max Verstappen’s two 2020 victories.
“We’ve had problems with the rear tyres being too hot in the past few years,” Mercede Technical Director James Allison told Auto Motor und Sport.
“Silverstone is a track where that can easily happen. We just didn’t do a good job in the second Silverstone race.
“In the first race we somehow got through, then in the second race we didn’t pay enough attention to the problems from the first.
“We didn’t take due care when going into a race the tyres were too soft for and we didn’t set the car up accordingly.
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“We started with the same set-up as we did the first week of Silverstone and we were hoping for a miracle. That was a classic own goal.”
Allison also revealed that Mercedes escaped tyre issues at the Turkish Grand Prix, where Hamilton managed to do 50 laps on a set of intermediate tyres.
“Although we have good systems for warming up the tyres, it wasn’t enough in qualifying on that track that day under those conditions. We were too ill-equipped.
“If the race had only lasted 20 laps, we would have been just as hopeless. But our set-up paid off over the length of the race.”