The British Grand Prix was yesterday overshadowed by a string of tyre failures that will lead to serious questions being asked of manufacturer Pirelli.
In the space of eight laps over the first third of the race there were three failures, ultimately resulting in the introduction of the safety car after 15 laps to aid the marshals clear the debris.
All incidents involved the left-rear tyre, as was the case with Sergio Perez in final practice on Saturday, with the Mexican unfortunately the final victim late in the race.
The tyre failures:
Lap eight: Leading the race after making a strong start from pole position, Lewis Hamilton is the first to suffer as he heads down the Wellington Straight, his left-rear exploding and rapidly delaminating. Hamilton manages to make it back to the pits on just the wheel rim, but given he was only just over four corners into the lap, the time lost sees him drop to the back of the pack.
Lap 11: Coming out of Aintree Corner on to the Wellington Straight, Ferrari's Felipe Massa is the next to suffer a blow-out. Running fourth at the time, Massa spins off the track, and like Hamilton faces a long, slow journey back to the pits to take on fresh tyres, the Brazilian relegated to last.
Lap 15: Travelling at a speed of around 160mph at the end of the Hangar Straight into the gentle right-hander at Stowe, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne manages to hang on to his car under braking as his left-rear gives way. Vergne was the more fortunate of the trio as his incident was close to the pit entrance, resulting in a short trip to take on new tyres.It was at this point, with tyre carcasses strewn across the track, that race director Charlie Whiting deployed the safety car.
Lap 46: Shortly after a second safety car incident to remove Sebastian Vettel's stricken Red Bull after he suffered a transmission failure, Perez suffered his second blow-out in two days to end his race. There were two other notable incidents as Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez suffered a puncture to his front-left due to a cut, but no serious delamination.Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, has confirmed he incurred a failure to his right-rear tyre just as he came into the pits for his stop.