Nico Rosberg’s 300kph blowout at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday was not caused by a structural tyre failure.
That is the highly anticipated news from Pirelli early on Saturday, following an exhaustive investigation at the scene of the Belgian grand prix and also back at the marque’s Milan headquarters.
Pressure had been piled onto Pirelli following the scary incident, just a month after the death of the drivers’ late colleague Jules Bianchi.
“The drivers need an explanation and it must be ensured that this does not happen again,” Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda had told German television.
Pirelli spokeswoman Maria Stella Narciso said on Saturday morning: “We have completed the investigation. It ran all night, both here in Belgium as well as in Milan.
“We can rule out with absolutely certainty that it was a structural problem of the tyre,” she said.
“It’s very, very difficult to find the source of a possible tyre damage after the fact, but we have come to the conclusion that the damage must have been caused by external influences,” Narciso told Speed Week.
She also denied any suggestion Mercedes may have pushed beyond the recommended usage guidelines of the tyres regarding pressure and camber, insisting: “Mercedes have behaved exemplarily.” (GMM)