F1: Sebastian Vettel blames Pirelli for tyre failure - not Ferrari strategy

Vettel feared he could have been killed had his blowout at Spa happened moments earlier

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The Independent Online

Sebastian Vettel insists his Ferrari team should not be held accountable for the devastating puncture he suffered in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel was incandescent after the race following a penultimate lap blowout on the Kemmel Straight.

The German driver claimed he could have been killed, had the tyre failure occurred moments earlier through Eau Rouge. In a statement released via his website, the four-time world champion backed his team and pinned the blame firmly on Pirelli.

“Just to make things clear, the team and I decided our strategy for the race together,” said Vettel, who was the only driver to attempt a one-stop strategy in Sunday’s race at Spa-Francorchamps. “I support the team and the team supports me and this is what makes us a team. Our strategy was never risky, at any point. The team is not to blame.”

Pirelli, Formula One’s sole tyre supplier, was forced to defend its product for the second time in three days following Nico Rosberg’s harrowing 200mph blowout in practice last Friday.

The Italian tyre manufacturer released a statement hours after the race, claiming that its proposal to limit the number of laps completed on one set of tyres had been dismissed by the teams two years ago.

But the Ferrari team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene maintained his team were right to stop Vettel only once.

“Normally, when you do the strategy at that time during the strategy meeting it is based on data that you have in your hands,” he said. “The strategy was absolutely right – the one stop.

“I want to clear up immediately that when we do the strategy we have the data and the data is based on the strategy. Don’t worry – our job was right.”