Lando Norris said that Pirelli ‘should be making better tires’ after four drivers, including himself, suffered tire punctures at the Qatar GP.
The F1 teams had the three hardest tire compounds at their disposal last weekend. Despite that, tire puncture was an issue that a lot of drivers had to deal with. Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly met with the unfortunate incident on Saturday’s qualifying session.
Sunday was even worse for the drivers as 4 of them suffered tired punctures. Other than Norris, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and the Williams duo of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi had to nurse their damaged tires into the pits for a new one.
Tyre woe for several drivers as Russell, Norris and Latifi all reports problems
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 21, 2021
McLaren’s Lando Norris was running in 4th place when his hard front left tire failed. He had already made a pitstop before but had to make an unscheduled one after the incident. The young Briton eventually finished in 9th, losing valuable points in the team’s battle for P3 with Ferrari.
After the race, Norris was unhappy with Pirelli and said he expected the Italian company to do a better job.
“I didn’t expect the tire to blow up,” said Norris. “Especially not on the Hard tire. We were not that far into the stint, it was like 20 laps or something, and a tire should be able to go more than 20 laps.”
Lando Norris questions driver safety after 4 tire failures in Lusail
The 22-year-old said that it was perilous for tires to go off like that. He said that his tire failure was very unexpected and did not see it coming.
“At every track you look after the tire because the tire wear out a bit, but you do not expect it to suddenly let go completely. Quite dangerous for a lot of people I guess, and that shouldn’t happen.” said Norris.
“They should make the tires better,” he said. “It is dangerous for us as drivers, right? We risk a lot every time.
Chequered flag in Qatar.
Not how the team wanted it to end with Lando suffering from a puncture which forced him to stop for a second time.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 21, 2021
“If we cannot drive a Formula 1 car around the circuit, then what should we do. I did like 20 laps, not even a very long stint. 20 or 25 laps or whatever, I should be able to still drive around the circuit.”
Pirelli later said they would be running tests in their Milan laboratory to see what went wrong in Qatar. According to the tire manufacturers, the intense curbs usage at the Losail International Circuit led to these incidents.