The Formula 1 debate over the quality of the tyres supplied by Pirelli continued on Thursday as it was revealed to Dutch publication De Telegraaf that the drivers opted out of a meeting with the manufacturer to discuss the issue.
Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll both suffered punctures in the Baku Grand Prix earlier this month, forcing the two drivers to abandon the race.
But an investigation concluded this week that Pirelli were not to blame for the incidents, suggesting that the teams were running the tyres at the incorrect pressure.
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“The process established that there was no production or quality defect on any of the tyres; nor was there any sign of fatigue or delamination,” the investigation said.
"The causes of the two left-rear tyre failures on the Aston Martin and Red Bull cars have been clearly identified.
"In each case, this was down to a circumferential break on the inner sidewall, which can be related to the running conditions of the tyre, in spite of the prescribed starting parameters (minimum pressure and maximum blanket temperature) having been followed.”
Speaking on Thursday afternoon, both Verstappen and Stroll expressed disappointment with the findings.
"If instead of turning right I had turned left into the wall, things could have been very different,” Verstappen said, pointedly. “You can't ignore that, I think."
However, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says that, on this occasion, the fault is not with Pirelli.
"As you know, every weekend, whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up - so that tells you something," he said.
"More often than not, [it's] that the tyres are not being run at the pressures that are being asked. We didn't have a problem with our tyres.
"I think they've done a great job with the tyres this year, they're more robust than before and, in this particular instance, I don't think Pirelli are at fault.
"At the end of the day, safety is always the priority," Hamilton added. "And for me and for my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate.
"So I was very surprised naturally to see that they [the FIA] had to clarify those, which obviously, you can take what you want from that.”
The F1 season continues with the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday.
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