In the 2020 British Grand Prix, Hamilton suffered a tire puncture on the final lap of the race, barely getting his car across the finish line in time to hold off his closest challenger, Max Verstappen. I understand that Mercedes did not want to pit since it was the last lap.

But how about the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, when Bottas' tire blew up? Why did Mercedes not pit Bottas for a new set of tires, instead of just retiring him? It is just a waste of time to change tires, or it is illegal to change a blown-up tyre?

1 Answer 1


In most cases, teams will change a puncture, but it is not always possible.

For Hamilton's puncture, it happened shortly after he had passed the pit entrance. He had no choice but to circle the track.

I don't know exactly what happened for Bottas in 2018, but the puncture happened late in the race at high speed. The tire can damage the car. It's possible that after the car got back to the pit, he was so far down that he could have only run one more lap and had no chance at any points. If there's any chance the car was damaged, the team could have just decided not to bother.

But yes, if the car can make it back to the pits, the teams are allowed to change the tires and return the to the track.

  • 3
    Bottas' puncture happened on the start-finish straight, so he had to do the entire lap with that blown tyre, and judging from the state of it, it would indeed have inflicted substantial damage to his car.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 16:52

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