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Motor racing - Pirelli blames external factors for Raikkonen tyre problem

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Motor racing - Pirelli blames external factors for Raikkonen tyre problem

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BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Kimi Raikkonen’s British Grand Prix tyre problem was caused by external factors and not any structural weakness, Pirelli said on Wednesday. Raikkonen and his Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel both suffered front left tyre problems in the closing laps at Silverstone two weeks ago, forcing both to pit. Pirelli has already said that Vettel’s issue was caused by a slow puncture. That problem dropped Ferrari’s Formula One championship leader from third to seventh, slashing his advantage over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to a single point with half the season remaining. Raikkonen ended up third. On Wednesday, ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Pirelli said an analysis of Raikkonen’s tyre had found specific damage “consistent with contact against an external body”. It said no issues had emerged connected with the tyre itself.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)
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