Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of winning the British Grand Prix have diminished following a tyre failure on lap eight of the Silverstone track.
It began a string of bizarre tyre explosions as both Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Torro Rosso driver Jean Eric-Vergne suffered similar incidents just a few laps later.
Hamilton had been hoping to emulate his only other victory at Silverstone back in 2008, having qualified for the eagerly-anticipated race in pole position.
Fellow Brit Jenson Button was later heard over the McLaren team radio saying: "All four tyres feel like they’re overheating."
After the three incidents, teams told the drivers to keep away from the kerbs to avoid the Pirelli tyres deteriorating.
It piles further pressure on the Italian manufacturers, after drivers were forced to take several pit stops during the Spanish Grand Prix due to degradation of tyres.
Mexican Sergio Perez had what appears to be the same problem in practice yesterday, as his tyre imploded at high speed.