Pirelli pin Rosberg tire failure on external cut

Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:09am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg's high-speed blowout in Belgian Grand Prix practice was likely caused by an external cut to the tire and any structural problem can be ruled out, Formula One supplier Pirelli said on Saturday.

"We have conducted a thorough investigation to find out exactly what happened with Nico's tire," said Pirelli motorsport head Paul Hembery.

"This investigation now excludes any structural integrity issues. Based on the information and data available an external source of damage is the conclusion made."

Pirelli said they had checked tires used by other teams as well as Mercedes and also found nothing of any concern.

The Italian company said video footage had showed a tire problem on the German's car "consistent with an external cut into the tire structure".

Rosberg was fastest in Friday practice but suffered the explosive blowout in the afternoon session as he approached Blanchimont at full throttle.

"That was definitely not fun," he told reporters after escaping unscathed from the heartstopping incident in which the right rear tire shredded in seconds.

"Luckily I did not hit the wall. I didn't feel anything before, there was no warning. There will be a big analysis. I was feeling quick before then, comfortable."   Continued...

The car of Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany is brought back to the garage after suffering a tyre failure during a free practice session ahead of the weekend's Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Kooren