Bridgestone Motorsport has revealed that possible debris damage was the reason behind Scott Speed's ninth lap blow-out in the Spanish Grand Prix, the American's second tyre-related retirement of the season.

The Toro Rosso driver had made a strong start to the race, despite having started at the back of the grid, and was running 13th at the time of the incident, which saw the STR2 snaking to a halt at the end of the main straight, having had its left-rear tyre deflate at speed. Investigations by both Bridgestone and the team revealed a cut in the centre of the tread, possibly caused by debris from the earlier clash between Alex Wurz and Ralf Schumacher.

"We could see from the data that everything was perfect until turn five," Bridgestone's head of track engineering operations, Kees van de Grint, said, "There was a drop in pressure to as low as 6psi and the tyre gave up as it is not to be run at these levels. Investigation of the tyre showed a cut in the middle of the tread which caused the puncture."

van der Grint revealed that Speed was one of only two drivers who opted to buck the trend of running the softer of Bridgestone's two compounds in the first two stints of the race, possibly aiming to complete the race on just one stop after problems in qualifying restricted him to the back row.

"All but two cars opted for the conventional strategy of medium, medium, hard," van der Grint confirmed, "The exceptions were Speed, who used the hard for his first stint, and Fernando Alonso, who used it for his middle stint - both for understandable reasons. It was clear that the medium compound had an advantage on the track today, and it was good to see David Coulthard, Nico Rosberg and Takuma Sato score points."

 

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