Pirelli still investigating Massa’s puncture problems

Pirelli has said they are still investigating the reason behind Felipe Massa’s punctured pair of tyres. The Ferrari driver suffered two punctures during the race which dropped him down to 15th place.Mechanics working on the white medium compound

Paul Hembery revealed in a statement from the team that investigations are ongoing, saying “There was a clearly an issue with the tyre on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, which we are investigating at the moment. We’ve seen one sidewall cut and one at the top of the tread, and we’re currently trying to find out what caused those cuts.”

However he hailed a fantastic Bahrain Grand Prix, one that he described as “fantastic.” Discussing the race he said ” “It was fantastic to see such brilliantly close racing all the way down the field, from the start to the finish of the grand prix.”

He cited the small performance gap between the two tyre compounds as the reason for the close racing on track, saying “To some extent this was down to the fact that there was only a small performance gap between the two compounds, meaning that we saw lots of different thinking on strategy. On this occasion, there was no clear advantage in starting on particular compound when it came to overall race time. The high temperatures – the highest we have seen all year so far – made managing thermal degradation a particular challenge, which rewarded the drivers with the best strategy and smoothest driving style.”

The Pirelli tyres degraded more than expected, with some drivers going for a four stop strategy. Paul Di Resta and Kimi Raikkonen proved that the Force India cars were easy on their tyre wear.

The main issue for drivers was the heat which meant that tyres were overheating throughout the race, with temperatures well over 40 degrees for the start of the race.

The Italian firm admitted Sebastian Vettel completed the “perfect” strategy by pitting on laps 10, 25 and 42 with his final three stints being on the hard compound tyre.

Changes for Barcelona are already being discussed with the possibility of extra rubber being given to those who run a rookie driver in FP1. The firm have a lot of evaluating to do but most drivers praised the tyres for creating enjoyable racing. Fans were also treated to an exciting spectacle thanks to the differing strategies and fortunes.

Image courtesy of Pirelli Media

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