Kimi Raikkonen's dramatic tyre failure in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix was caused by external damage, Pirelli's investigation has concluded.
Raikkonen was running second when his front-left tyre failed, forcing him to pit with four laps remaining. Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel suffered what looked like an identical failure two laps later, though Pirelli immediately stated the two incidents were unrelated.
The investigation into both has proven that to be the case, with Vettel's caused by a slow puncture -- something Pirelli revealed last week. By contrast, the tyre manufacturer suggests two impacts with the tyre triggered the problem on the No.7 car.
Pirelli's statement said: "The results of the analysis on Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's front-left soft compound tyre, which experienced an issue at the end of the recent British Grand Prix, reveal specific damage in two places at the edge of the belt close to the internal shoulder area.
"This damage is not present throughout any other areas of the tyre whatsoever. Furthermore, the belt and the structure do not show any signs of fatigue. The possible initial cause of this damage is consistent with contact against an external body, leading to a partial separation of the belt from the carcass in the two affected areas. In one of these two places, as a logical consequence, part of the tread also became detached."
Pirelli has conducted tests on every tyre which completed a similar or greater distance than Raikkonen's (25 laps) before encountering the problem. Those tests suggest there were no problems on any other car.
Referring to those tests, the statement said: ""On no occasion was there any sign of fatigue, detachment or laceration -- or even the beginning of such problems -- that affected the structure of the tyre. In conclusion, Pirelli can confirm that no issues have emerged connected with the tyre itself."