McLaren concerned after Monza tyre problems

McLaren-Mercedes’s Juan Pablo Montoya admitted that concerns over the tyres at the Italian Grand Prix had been playing on his mind as he took victory at Monza.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen (25) was fighting his way through the field when he was called into the pits to change a heavily blistered rear tyre, leaving his championship chances bleak.

Raikkonen may have feared a repeat of his Nürburgring crash when excessive vibrations from a blistered tyre caused the front suspension to break, pitching him violently off the track on the final lap.

Montoya (29) won the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday but suffered tyre problems himself near the end of the race, and the Colombian admitted that he was forced to ease off in the final laps.

Montoya said: “Towards the end, I had a severe problem with the left rear tyre. This left me with very little grip in the closing stages and I just couldn’t go on pushing.

“I looked when I stopped the car in Parc Ferme and there was a bad blister, but the tyre casing itself was fine.

“I had some vibrations and when I went into the first chicane for the last time, I did think about Kimi’s accident [at the Nürburgring]. I got to the end, though.”

McLaren team chief Ron Dennis agreed that the wear of the tyres was a worry over the course of the race as the team kept up the pressure on championship rivals Renault heading into the final four races of the year.

He said: “We obviously had some delamination trouble with both cars and we worked out with the data that Kimi could have been second without his problems.
It was more down to our set-up than the tyres themselves.”—Sapa-AFP

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