Sebastian Vettel says 'a question mark' remains around why his right-rear tyre exploded so spectacularly at the start of lap 27 which ended his race and a potential shot at victory.
The Ferrari driver had been targeting a one-stop strategy having started ninth on the grid in Austria after a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
As he crossed the start/finish line to begin lap 27 Vettel's right-rear super-soft tyre failed and punctured which left Vettel helpless in careering into the pit exit barrier and out of the race.
Ferrari and Pirelli have begun a thorough investigation into the cause of the tyre failure and Vettel is certain it was not because he was pushing the tyre life after seeing other drivers produce similar stints without any problems.
“Obviously the idea was to go as long as possible, everybody was going longer on the tyres than expected,” Vettel said. “Nobody came in in the first ten laps, so not much to say. Completely a question mark over why the tyre failed.
“I felt it when it was too late and the tyre exploded out of the blue. There were no signs before that, everything was normal. I also spoke to the people on the pit wall, everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, so no sign for the failure.
“It was clear everybody had much more tyre life than we expected going into the race so in the end 27 laps is not much for that compound. Kimi did more than 20 laps on the ultra-soft, there were other people that had more laps on the super-soft. Out of nothing the tyre exploded.”
Vettel's third point-less outing of the season sees Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen draw level with him in the F1 championship standings with both on 96 points in joint-third behind the two Mercedes drivers.