Pirelli suspect stray piece of metal caused Belgian GP practice punctures

Metal found in Astroturf at Turn 13 after Alonso and Vettel punctures

By James Galloway at Spa.   Last Updated: 24/08/13 10:36am

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Fernando Alonso suffered a slow puncture right at the end of P2

Fernando Alonso suffered a slow puncture right at the end of P2

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Pirelli believe a piece of stray metal may have caused the cuts to tyres during Practice Two at the Belgian GP.

Formula 1 was hit by fresh tyre concerns on Friday at Spa after both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso suffered punctures to their respective cars' right-rear tyres during afternoon practice, while Pirelli discovered over cars had also sustained cuts to the same tyre.

Although Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery told Sky Sports F1 that the deflations were "100%" down to some kind of debris on the track between turns 13 and 15, drivers were nonetheless believed to have been concerned about the situation and demanded more specific explanations in the wake of the tyre blow-outs that marred June's British GP on the similarly fast Silverstone circuit.

Pirelli went out onto the track on Friday night to try and get to the bottom of the problems and a spokeswoman confirmed to Sky Sports Online on Saturday morning that a stray piece of metal had been found in the Astroturf at the left-handed Turn 13, Fagnes, which the firm suspects may have caused the problems.

The Italian manufacturer, however, stressed that they continue to investigate the incidents.

Hembery, meanwhile, told reporters: "There are certainly no tyre-related issues.

"We've seen no signs of fatigue and from our point of view there's no reason to be concerned."

Track action resumes at 10am (BST) with Practice Three in what, initially at least, look set to be dry conditions. Wet weather is forecast for the afternoon, when qualifying takes place.

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