Did F1 teams overlook early signs of Silverstone punctures? 'A lot of cuts in practice'

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Formula 1 teams may have had warnings in practice of the potential risk for punctures during Sunday's British Grand Prix.

In the closing laps, both Mercedes' and Carlos Sainz all suffered near-identical tyre failures on the front-left which most suspect were the result of debris from Kimi Raikkonen's front wing, which had broken a lap or two earlier.

However, it has now been confirmed that Daniil Kvyat's crash was caused by a tyre failure after onboard footage emerged and Esteban Ocon revealed Renault had seen damage on its tyres as far back as Friday.

“We have seen a lot of cuts and stuff that we normally don’t see in practice,” said the Frenchman, who finished sixth in the race.

“It is true that Silverstone is probably the toughest circuit for tyres with the high speed and the kerbs.

“There is a new thing out of Turn 13; Maggots, Becketts, Chapel, this combination of corners. At the right-hander, Turn 13 exit, now there is no kerb anymore. Which there was before. So you run in the dirt and then you go on to the kerb, and that could also damage your tyres.

2020BritishGrandPrixSundayGP Carlos Sainz

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“I don’t know if it came from the carbon debris or just the track being very hard with the tyres.

“The new cars are wider than I was used to in ‘18, that’s for sure, but yeah we have seen more damage and more cuts to the tyres than we have ever seen.”

Red Bull also confirmed they had seen "50 little cuts" on Max Verstappen's tyre after they changed as a precaution following Valtteri Bottas' failure with three laps to go.

While George Russell wasn't at all surprised to hear of the three punctures when he returned to the garage.

“I actually came on the radio with a couple of laps to go and explained my tyres were in really poor shape and I said that I’m just going to bring the car home because I feel like I’m going to get a puncture," he said.

“But I thought to myself surely not, punctures are a thing of the past, and then I came in and learned that three other drivers got punctures!

“So I’m pretty pleased that I brought the car home in those final two laps. Silverstone’s brutal, it’s so fast. We’re almost flat every single lap through Copse, which you’re doing 280km/h through there every single lap.”

Though Mercedes were not alone in having tyre issues then, team boss Toto Wolff was still asked if their new DAS system, which impacts the toe-angle of the front wheels, may have played a role.

“I don’t think that DAS had an influence because we saw the puncture on Sainz’s car as well at the same place,” the Austrian told RaceFans.

“The front-left takes the heaviest loads on that track and we saw blistering on many cars from actually the middle of the stint on the hard. So no relation to DAS.”