Lewis Hamilton’s style of driving triggered the concern about his tyres that cost him a possible Turkish Grand Prix win on Sunday, tyre maker Bridgestone said.
The 23-year-old McLaren driver had to make three stops during the race at Istanbul Park, compared to two for his rivals, and finished second behind Ferrari’s Brazilian Felipe Massa.
“Bridgestone were concerned the tyre was going to fail as it did last year,” said the Briton, who suffered a costly blowout in Turkey last August. “That put us in not such a strong position to win the race.”
A Bridgestone spokeswoman said the concerns were raised before Saturday’s qualifying.
“We had the issue with Lewis last year at this race, brought about by turn eight specifically being anti-clockwise triple-apex with very high g-forces,” she said.
“He had a specific problem last year, most noticeably, but several other drivers we noticed had internal tyre problems. Based on that, we changed the construction and strengthened it over the winter period and then brought those tyres to all the races this year.
“In actual fact, nobody else has had a repetition of any of those problems this year, with the exception of Lewis,” she added.
“He is the one driver who perhaps with his style of driving has put higher forces onto his front right tyre.”
She said the problem was one of tyre construction, not the compound used.
Bridgestone advised McLaren on how long they felt the tyre was safe for the Briton to drive on and the team then decided he should make an extra stop as a precaution.
Hamilton had a blowout 15 laps from the finish in Istanbul last year, with the Briton finishing fifth after a drama that robbed him of at least third place.
Hamilton’s problem is unlikely to recur next season, with the regulations expected to change to allow for the return of slick tyres.