Lewis Hamilton’s abrupt loss of pace at the end of his first stint in Suzuka was not down to a puncture, as previously suspected.
A Pirelli spokesperson confirmed to F1 Fanatic the McLaren driver did not suffer a puncture.
Hamilton was running in second place when he began losing time on lap six.
On lap eight he ran wide at Spoon curve and was passed by Jenson Button and was caught by Fernando Alonso by the end of the lap, when he pitted.
Speaking to the BBC in Korea Hamilton said: “My tyres had degraded quite a lot and I backed off which lost me a huge amount of time. It turns out the we didn’t have a puncture it was just heavy, heavy degrading.”
Update: McLaren have supplied more information on Hamilton’s tyre degradation, read this comment for more.
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
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Image ?é?® McLaren