Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time before his rear tire punctured in Friday’s second practice at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The three-time defending Formula One champion had to stop with about 20 minutes of the session remaining when his right rear tire popped and the loose rubber flapped around as he made his way back to the pits.
The German had earlier clocked 1 minute, 49.331 seconds, which was .059 quicker than Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and .818 faster than Lotus driver Romain Grosjean. While it was not immediately clear what caused the puncture, it could be unwelcome news for Pirelli given the furor surrounding its fast-shredding tires throughout the season. With his session over, Vettel stood alongside officials in the garage as they studied the car’s data.