Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed that cuts in the tread and sidewall led to Max Verstappen’s race-ending issue at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver looked to be in contention for a possible victory in Imola having found a way past Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes in the closing stages of the race, before a dramatic puncture sent him spinning off into the gravel and out of the race.

Pirelli immediately launched an investigation in a bid to discover what caused the failure, and the Italian manufacturer’s head of car racing Mario Isola revealed its findings at the Turkish Grand Prix.

“We made an investigation on the tyre and the part of the tyre that we have been able to collect… as a priority,” said Isola. “We found some cuts on the tread and the sidewall, both inside and outside.

"We believe that the reason of the failure was damage on the centre of the tread that caused the damage on both the belts and the carcass plies, so the belts started to detach following this damage and at a certain point when the carcass was not able to keep the load, we had the deflation that everybody saw on television.

“We shared also the analysis with the FIA and the team and this is the evidence that we have. Obviously, it's difficult to analyse a tyre that is in pieces, but we sent immediately the tyre back from Imola to our laboratories in Milan.”

Mercedes went on to claim a comfortable 1-2, with the German manufacturer going on to secure a record-breaking seventh consecutive constructors’ world title.

Verstappen’s DNF led to a late Safety Car, which enabled Mercedes to pit both of its drivers for fresh rubber as a precautionary stop in closing stages of the race.

Isola also confirmed that Pirelli is conducting a separate investigation into the state of Mercedes’ tyres after both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton reported vibrations on their tyres at Imola.

“I can confirm that that we are analysing the tyre with [Mercedes], so the findings will be shared with the team,” Isola explained.

“There was no loss of pressure, just vibration increasing during the run. We are investigating the construction, and obviously in this case, it is possible to investigate the tyre, because it's available.”

 

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