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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91 comments on “Drivers threaten German GP boycott over punctures”

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  1. Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little contradictory for the drivers to give Pirelli a vote of confidence, and then threaten to boycott the race?

  2. The thing is that you cannot blame Pirelli or the track until the teams stop running them under the recommended pressure, in the wrong direction/side of car, at the wrong tracking angle or with too much camber.

    1. Paul Hembry, is that you?

      Good that besides the PR talk and blame shifting you still realize that a better construction is needed.

      1. No it’s not, but a person that spent many years testing in industry, but mainly in electronic controls.
        Can you be sure that if the tyres last week had been run as per Pirelli’s guidelines that there would have been any failures.
        Maybe that should be part of the (YD)test at Silverstone later this month.

      2. Also remember Spa 2011, RBR tried to blame Pirelli for tyre failures, but were found to be running aggressive camber angles.

        1. There weren’t any failures then though, not even to RBR, who took a 1-2. Compare that to there being around six failures in one weekend.

  3. This will never happen. The drivers have strong contracts and the teams have a strong obligation to race. They basically cant back out. The GPDA is just trying to stretch their muscles, and to play politics. This an empty threat and everyone knows this.

    This is exactly why Kimi isn’t part of the GPDA, he doesn’t like the politics of the GPDA.

  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Adrian Sutil are not part of GPDA, so they would race in any case. They are brave men. Raikkonen has admitted that early and dangerous 70’s were one of his favourite days in F1 history. I’d bet that if Nico Rosberg was not part of GPDA, he would join that club, too. He would be brave enough to compete at dangerous situations.

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