Start, Nurburgring, 2011

Drivers threaten German GP boycott over punctures

2013 German Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Nurburgring, 2011The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association has threatened to boycott the German Grand Prix if the tyre failures seen at Silverstone recur at this weekend’s race.

The drivers say they will withdraw from the event if the tyre failures happen again during practice and qualifying.

A GPDA statement said: “The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wish to express their deepest concerns about the events that took place at Silverstone.

“We trust that the changes made to the tyres will have the desired results and that similar problems will not occur during the German Grand Prix weekend.

“We are prepared to drive our cars to the limit, as we always do, and as it is expected by our teams, sponsors and fans.

“However, the drivers have decided that, if similar problems should manifest themselves during the German Grand Prix, we shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tyres endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans.”

The GPDA had written to the FIA in June to express concern that Pirelli had not been allowed to make changes to its tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez all suffered tyre blow-outs during the Silverstone race. Afterwards Mark Webber said: “We?ve been trying to have input [on tyre safety] for the last three years and it?s deaf ears.”

Kimi Raikkonen expressed doubt over whether the true cause of the failures had been identified: “It’s very hard to pinpoint the reason why the tyres blow up: is it the tyre or there’s something on the kerbs or is it just certain cars that use the tyres harder?

“It’s almost impossible to say after when the tyre goes and there’s nothing left. Easy to try to always blame, somebody will blame someone because you try to find the reason for it but I don’t really believe that you can just say ‘this is the problem, that’s the fix’.”

Fernando Alonso said: “I think performance today is the second priority. What we need to have is a tyre that will last the race, don’t put in danger anyone and you arrive home Sunday night.”

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