Pirelli has said that, until it has conclusive proof of the cause of Sebastian Vettel's race-ending puncture in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it will not speculate on possible reasons.
The German's first lap exit from the race at Yas Marina prompted a great deal of postulation, ranging from the Red Bull running over the sharp back edge of the turn one kerb to the floor of car having cut into the tyre and caused its instant deflation, but the Italian company refused to be drawn on any possibility without carrying out deeper investigation of the possible causes.
Vettel had made the perfect start from pole position, and was pulling away from the pack when the puncture struck, sending him spinning onto the grass at turn two. Although he did not hit anything solid, the German's attempts to return to the pits for a fresh tyre resulted in further damage to the RB7, and led to Vettel's first retirement since the spectacular engine failure in last year's race in Korea. With team-mate Mark Webber only able to finish fourth, Abu Dhabi brought and end to Red Bull's run of 19 consecutive podium finishes, dating back to the same race in Yeongam.
“Together with Red Bull Racing, we're still examining the remains of Sebastian Vettel's tyre in order to try and piece together what happened," Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery commented, confirming that there was very little left of the carcass to make an immediate diagnosis, "It certainly seems to be a very unusual incident and we've already been to look at the place [where the incident took place] with Sebastian.
"There seems to be no reason that is immediately obvious and the set of tyres was one that he had already used for qualifying. But, until we know for sure, there's no point in speculating."
Pirelli will remain in Abu Dhabi for the next week, with three days of 'Young Driver' testing at Yas Marina over 15-17 November, and will continue to investigate the possible causes of Vettel's DNF.