With the two already at odds over bendy wings, the Baku tyre failures have given the pair something else to bicker over, both claiming the moral high ground.
While Max Verstappen insists that blame for the failures suffered by himself and Lance Stroll does not lie with their teams – which is clearly what is implied by the technical directive sent to all the teams in the wake of Pirelli’s investigation – Lewis Hamilton has leapt to the defence of the Italian manufacturer.
“Every weekend, whenever there is a failure, they always put the pressures up,” the world champion told reporters at Paul Ricard today, “so that tells you something.
“More often than not, it’s that the tyres are not being run at the pressures that are being asked,” he added. “We didn’t have a problem with our tyres.”
Indeed, much as he did with the bendy wing saga, Hamilton was able to keep the pot stirred in terms of tyre pressures, the Briton having voiced his suspicions over Red Bull‘s tyre blanket practices in Spain.
“I think they’ve done a great job with the tyres this year,” said Hamilton of Pirelli, “they’re more robust than before, and I think in this particular instance, I don’t think Pirelli are at fault.”
Referring to the 12-page technical directive which will see the FIA clamp down on tyre pressures from this weekend – and bendy wings – Hamilton said: “At the end of the day, safety is always the priority, and for me and for my team, there have been clear rules and guidelines as to where we have to operate. So I was very surprised naturally to see that they had to clarify those, which obviously, you can take what you want from that.
“I’m happy that they have acknowledged that they need to clarify it, and I think what’s really, really important from now is how they police it, because they’ve not been policing how the tyres are being used, tyre pressures, tyre temperatures, and we need to do better.
“It’s great that they’ve done a TD, but it’s the action now. We need to see them really follow through and be really vigilant to make sure that it’s equal across the field.”
Check out our Thursday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.