Lewis Hamilton says tyre failures are likely the teams’ fault

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Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t believe tyre failures at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix are Pirelli’s fault, but more likely the fault of the teams who play with tyre pressures.

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll both suffered tyre failures. This led to Pirelli investigating the matter and concluding that ‘running conditions’ were the cause.

The FIA immediately ramped up tyre pressure and temperature checks, obviously believing that the teams have not been following Pirelli’s guidelines on running parameters. Lewis Hamilton agrees with the theory.

“As you know every weekend, whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up – so that tells you something,” the Briton said at the French Grand Prix Thursday press conference.

“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.”

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The seven-time champion welcomes the FIA’s increased checks.

“At the end of the day, safety is always the priority. 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,” concluded the Briton.

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