Pirelli says they found a 6-7 cm cut on Lewis Hamilton’s tyre

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Pirelli’s Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola says Lewis Hamilton “was lucky”, because they found a 6-7 cm cut on his tyre.

Max Verstappen lost an almost certain win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to a rear-left tyre puncture. Lance Stroll also suffered a tyre failure, but Pirelli’s Mario Isola rules out the possibility that the tyres failed due to excessive wear.

“Looking at the tyres used in the second stint, for most of the drivers we didn’t find any evidence, or anything [of damage],” Isola said.

“I believe I can exclude that failures were due to tyre wear, because it is not a matter of tyre wear.”

“The preliminary investigation is that it is probably due to an external factor or debris, [a] kerb, or whatever, but I don’t want to jump to a conclusion.”

Isola added that Pirelli “found a cut on the inside shoulder of the rear-left tyre used by Hamilton in the same stint, the cut was quite deep and big, and probably 6-7 cm.

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“But [it was] not cutting the construction, so the tyre was still in one piece, just the tread is cut, and when there was the red flag and Lewis came to the pit lane and changed the tyres we were able to find the cut.”

Showing the media a picture of Hamilton’s tyre, Isola said the cut came from debris.

“It is clear, because the tyre is clearly in one piece, and the cut is not in any direction…. it is clearly from the outside.

“In the case of Lewis, the cut was not deep enough to cut the construction, so he was lucky because of that, and in the case of Max and Lance there was an air loss and therefore a failure,” concluded the Italian.

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