FIA Issue New Pirelli Directive to Monitor F1 Cars After Max Verstappen Crash Saga

Published 06/17/2021, 5:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen kicks the wheel of his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix saw two major crashes due to tire failures. After Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen faced similar tire failures in Baku, Pirelli had several questions to answer regarding these incidents.


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Ahead of the French Grand Prix, the FIA revealed tougher checks on teams with regard to tires.

FIA reveal tougher checks on tires after Baku incident involving Max Verstappen


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Despite dominating in Baku, Verstappen crashed out after a puncture to his left rear tire in Lap 47. In addition, Stroll crashed out on Lap 30 due to the same issue.

While Red Bull blamed Pirelli for the failure, the Italian tire manufacturer initially attributed it to debris on the track. However, after further investigation, they attributed the failures to the running conditions of the tires.

This means they suspect Red Bull and Aston Martin manipulated operating conditions, damaging the tire during the race.

Considering these events, the FIA will perform tougher checks focused on tire pressures in Le Castellet this weekend. They issued a new technical directive for all teams to follow to stay within Pirelli’s guidelines. While some tests will be random, they will carry other tests across all teams.

In addition, the FIA will report teams having lower tire pressures to the stewards, which could lead to a financial penalty or disqualification.


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What changes has this incident brought to the 2022 technical regulations?

Although the incident seemed to boil down to a tire failure, the investigations that followed revealed a lot. Owing to the events that unfolded in Baku, the FIA included Article 10.7.3 to the list of technical regulations for the 2022 F1 season.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looks dejected next to his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Article 10.7.3 states that “all cars must be fitted with tyre pressure and temperature monitoring sensors which have been manufactured by an FIA designated supplier to a specification determined by the FIA.” 


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It further states that “Wheel rims and tyre pressure and temperature sensors should be marked according to the corner colouring and labelling scheme defined in the Appendix to the Technical and Sporting Regulations.

While 2022 is still far away, the impact of the FIA’s checks remains unknown heading into Le Castellet. In addition, with the championship battle intensifying, off-track battles are heating up by the second. Can the new FIA directive bring another twist in the ongoing F1 season?


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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.