Sebastian Vettel felt he had very little warning ahead of his right rear tyre exploding whilst leading the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver had taken over at the front of the field as he attempted to make the Supersoft Pirelli tyre last a long time into the race, but saw his chances of his first victory of the season disappear when the tyre failed on the start/finish straight.
Vettel was left to watch the rest of the race from the sidelines, and revealed that the team had no indication that the tyre was set to fail either from the telemetry readings on the pit wall, with an investigation now set to take place to find out the reasons why it happened.
“When the rear right tire failed, I didn’t feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue,” said Vettel. “There were no signs before that, everything was normal.
“I spoke with the people on the pit-wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tires felt fine, the lap times were fine. It’s completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure.
“Obviously the idea was to go on as long as possible with that set of tires and to shape our race on that idea, but I don’t think it was an aggressive strategy, as lots of people went longer than us on the same tires. Now there are still a lot of races left, but surely not finishing the race doesn’t help.”