Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Silverstone, 2013

Pirelli must ensure driver safety – Webber

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: Mark Webber says its vital for Pirelli to ensure the tyres are safe for this weekend’s race.


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F1 drivers threaten German GP boycott (BBC)

Webber: “Actions speak louder than words and Pirelli has to do something from a safety perspective.”

Drivers threaten boycott if tyre problems persist (Reuters)

“During news conferences, drivers sounded confident that tyre provider Pirelli had sorted out the problem by introducing new rubbers for the Nurburgring race. However, following a meeting of the drivers’ union, the tone hardened.”

Formula One drivers threaten to boycott German Grand Prix over tyres (The Guardian)

Jenson Button: “Obviously, last weekend was a massive talking point. I think there were six issues with the tyres. Once, you can go OK, but six, it’s a lot.”

Button questions F1 test changes (Autosport)

“I wouldn’t mind testing if we could test… or if we can tyre test. I would love to do that as well. But I am not interested in running one type of tyre all day long. It is not of interest.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Silverstone, 2013Pastor Maldonado Q&A: Williams can bounce back (F1)

Valtteri [Bottas’s] driving style is very gentle whilst my driving style is very aggressive. This has always worked for me up until now. But the fact is that I don?t want to adapt to his style because the tide will change again. I have always won by staying true to my style so I say that the car needs to change – not me!”

Pie?s the limit for Scottish star Di Resta at German GP (The Sun)

“I?ve been eating a lot of pies this week! Scotch pies, I am sure I will be on the scales more this weekend.”

Who do you think should occupy the seat with us alongside Seb in 2014? (Red Bull via Facebook)

Red Bull have a poll going asking whether Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo or Jean-Eric Vergne should drive for them next year. Presumably the results are not binding…

The politics of Pirelli (The Buxton Blog)

“With re-election to a post [Jean Todt] said he?d only hold for one term now looking more and more likely, is this the emergence of a stronger, more vocal, more hands on FIA President? Is this the return of power politics in F1?”

German Grand Prix betting: Rosberg good value for home win (Unibet)

My German Grand Prix preview for Unibet.

MotorSportsTalk?s predictions: German GP (NBC)

“Most to prove: Felipe Massa. At the beginning of the season he seemed to be back at his best but he?s been a temperamental performer since then. Think of the pillorying a rookie driver would get if they crashed as many times as he has in the last three weekends.”


Comment of the day

@Xjr15jaaag supports the drivers’ stance:

The drivers’ safety should come first, and F1 is actually extremely dangerous before tyres start exploding at high speed.

Yes, there hasn?t been an F1 death for going on 20 years, but complacency is a very dangerous thing.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ben73!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Mike Hawthorn caused a sensation by winning a thrilling French Grand Prix at Reims 60 years ago today, beating Juan Manuel Fangio by a second after two and three-quarter hours of racing.

Hawthorn’s Ferrari and Fangio’s Maserati swapped the lead on lap after lap. Jose Froilan Gonzalez, who passed away last month, was third for Maserati.

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Williams/LAT

47 comments on “Pirelli must ensure driver safety – Webber”

  1. @keithcollantine the Unibet link isn’t working at the moment.

  2. Traverse (@)
    5th July 2013, 0:14

    F1 Fanatic: Note that the official Formula One website is not reporting the drivers’ threat to boycott the race. #F1

    I think I speak for most fans when I say that the official Formula One website doesn’t capture or convey the prestige or passion of the greatest show on earth (not including Takeshi’s Castle). I guess what I’m trying to say is, the website is pants.

    1. Traverse (@)
      5th July 2013, 0:15

      …And uninformative.

    2. +1 and very biased in more tan one occasion

    3. I don’t know why it’s so surprising to either Keith or to you, I don’t know any sporting organisation where the official website is the most up to date with news, it’s the job of the news sites, not them, they are only putting up the most important ones and I think they are doing rightly so. I don’t think there is any real problem with Formula One’s site.

      1. Traverse (@)
        5th July 2013, 1:11

        I would say that drivers threatening to boycott a race is a vital piece of info and that the official website would neglect to inform its fans/readers of such important news is unforgivable. An official website is obligated to report on such essential issues.

        1. You can’t seriously believe they would boycott the race? It’s media agitating the situation as they have done since the start of the season.

          1. It’s media agitating the situation

            No it isn’t. The GPDA have put out a statement saying they will boycott the race if the failures happen again. That is not an invention of the media.

        2. their only obligation is to communicate on behalf of their owner.

      2. @hunocsi I don’t know any sporting organisation where the official website is the most up to date with news

        IndyCar Official Website is doing a great job

      3. @hunocsi I never said I was “surprised” by it, I was merely pointing it out.

    4. Nary a mention anywhere there of exploding tires or danger to the drivers, let alone a possible boycott. Nope, everything is just peachy!

      1. @bullmello

        It’s pure propaganda. And has very little to do with news.

  3. Time to end this foolish experiment and get some proper tyres so we can have proper racing again.

    1. Rose tinted spectacles. Racing better now than ever

    2. But you loved the last few laps of Silverstone. You know, the same last laps in which several drivers were absolutely helpless to defend against others due to having worn out rubber and we had a series of very predictable and impossible to stop passes, which I’m not sure you’d call proper racing. So it can’t just be the tyres you dislike.

      1. @hxcas – Perhaps, it isn’t exclusive to Pirelli-era F1 that new tyres will be faster than old tyres. We got similar passing near the end of the Hungarian race a few years ago (Barrichello v Schumacher), and the European race as well (Kobayashi v Buemi & Alonso).

        But still, I’d rather keep the degradable tyres that teams eventually “work out”, and get rid of Dumb Retard Stupidity.

      2. No, what I loved about the last laps was the flat-out racing amongst those with new rubber that could go all the way without fear of failure, I felt sorry for the unfortunate few stuck with uncompetitive rubber who lost out, if they had been on equal rubber it would have been twice as good. That’s why I wan’t the tyres to be equal all race long and the best way to ensure that is for all cars to use only one set of tyres per race.

        1. @hohum

          If they were all on new rubber pushing flat out there would have been a lot less passing.

          1. @mike, it’s not the number of passes, it’s the quality of racing,it’s watching the pursuing driver pile on the pressure and waiting to see if the leader cracks or holds his cool that counts, not lapping in formation waiting to make a half-hearted lunge on the last corner or pushing the magic button and cruising by on the straight.

          2. @hohum

            We had long lasting tyres with Bridgestone. So I can give you the answer.

            No one can pass because there is little to no difference between tyres, and the only thing that helps passing is DRS. Of course, passes only happening in the DRS area leads to F1 being criticized for shallow passing. There are some really good passes. And when it does happen it is so much better, but because only long time F1 fans can appreciate it many are turned off by the lack of action.

            That’s my prediction. I’d much rather keep Perelli and drop DRS.

          3. @mike, on the basis of 1 year on the bridgestones you are going to discard a couple of decades of great racing without regular pit-stops ? Next year there will be less wing (for fuel economy if not regs.) and more grunt for accelleration so there should be more opportunities for passing without gimmicks.

    3. And they don’t even need to go much further back, I’d be OK with 2011 tyres (and I could stomach 2012 tyres too)

  4. As pointed out by Will Buxton, I still don’t understand why are we changing the tires that are safe when operated properly, instead of teams changing their approach and actually using tires within the safe parameters.

    Only in F1. Getting seriously tired of this nonsense. F1 seems to be unable to do simple but commonsense thing and is always gravitating towards complicated and ineffective solutions.

  5. I cant imagine the amount of pressure thats on Paul Hembery right now.

    1. Wanna bet if he is gonna go to press conference tomorrow ?…

    2. @jaymenon10 is there a pun intended when you say “pressure” (tyre’s pressure)?

      1. “He’s under a lot of pressure.. less pressure than is recommended..

      2. …a few PSI higher than previously recommended…haha

        whatever the case…this fiasco is hardly impacying Pirelli’s image…their stock was up 3.6% at the Milan Stock Exchange yesterday.

        1. I’m glad their stocks are up, because tire issues experienced at Silverstone are far from exclusively their responsibility.
          Obviously, their product failed. Who cares if it wasn’t utilised according to the spec. We didn’t see that. We saw tire debris flying all over the place. Lower tire pressure gives better performance only if you counteract it with camber increase. Consequently, the inner tire wall is put under excessive strain. I would call it lethal. The irony is: Engineers know it, Drivers know it as well and they still go on with constantly bashing Pirelli. To much hypocrites in this World if you ask me… FYI, I’m not a Pirelli fan!

      3. The pressure is starting to wear on him. I hope he doesn’t go anywhere near the cliff…

        1. Let’s hope the pressure doesn’t get too much that he explodes..

          1. Yeah he just wan’ts everyone to “belt” up , because he is really “tired”……his family say that all the work is making him “testy”……

  6. If the drivers who threaten to boycott are so worried about the safety, they should tell their own teams not to push the safety guidelines at the expense of the tire failure.
    At this point this is just a hot air that is also aimed at the completely wrong target, if it is aimed anywhere at all, since it looks like it’s just shouting for the hell of it.

  7. even if the Marussia’s or Catherhams go for it,i t would not damage the championship so much… but the consequences for the sport as a business would be catastrophic, because after something like that, the tickets which are not sold would be just left. I think that on the other hand, if all the drivers decide to withdraw, the ones who dare to keep going may damage their reputation. Business are business though. Maybe some point of their contracts forbids them to do a boycott.

  8. Don’t know if I missed this line of reasoning among all of the articles on F1F, but here in Montreal, local F1 journalist Bertrand Houle, who’s a smart guy, makes a fairly interesting case placing the blame on the way teams use the tires, rather than on Pirelli’s construction – in French, if you can stomach google translate http://www.rds.ca/courses/formule-1/assez-c-est-assez-1.637889

    Sides that, RB’s poll feels like they’re campaigning to get Raikkonen into the seat.

    1. Sides that, RB’s poll feels like they’re campaigning to get Raikkonen into the seat.

      @Maciek I agree that it looks very suspicious as the outcome of the poll was easily predictable.

  9. I confess I’m always a little annoyed when the COTD is in direct opposition to a comment of mine. I’m certainly not saying “the show must go on” regardless of what happens (although of course it sort of did, last week), but I don’t like the black-and-white nature of the “safety first” argument. I realize exploding tyres constitute more risk than the drivers are comfortable with, but the logical consequence of the safety-first argument is that they should not go out at all this weekend.

    Last race Esteban Gutierrez suffered a front tyre failure. The front tyres have not changed for this weekend. Ergo, the cars should stay grounded. I haven’t heard anyone calling for immediate cancellation, though.

    1. @AdrianMorse Well, I believe that F1 will never be 100% safe, unless they introduce a speed limit of 5 kph some day. So I agree with you that “safety first” is not and should not be an absolute. However, it’s also clear that we are talking about a risk that one can avoid without destroying ‘the show’ so Pirelli must get their act together.

      I personally believe that the boycott threat is rather a message to Pirelli without a serious intention to withdraw from the event as soon as the first tyre bursts. Perhaps GPDA also wants to remind everyone about their existence, which is not a bad thing. Anyway, I believe that we will see a great race this weekend without tyre explosions. I think F1 fraternity is very good at causing avoidable crises and then quickly resolving them.

      1. @adrianmorse As I commented to you yesterday after you basically said the same thing, I do actually understand where you are coming from wrt the black and white aspect of safety first. But I think you are forgetting that this is not a normal time. Normally tire failures are rare and one could easily agree with you that racing is always going to have an element of danger to some degree so where do they draw the line. But we are at a time of rampant tire delaminations and now explosions, so surely you can see that if that isn’t enough to cause alarm, what ever will be for you? I guess my main point to you would be that the level of danger can be controlled and right now it is not being controlled…the tires need changing…the evidence is overwhelming. Keeping a cap on the level of danger is one thing…inviting it right into your living room is another.

  10. I think the drivers are currently saying simply what their teams want them to say. That explains why Raikkonen and Sutil seem to be ‘unsure’ about the reasons for the tyre explosions and haven’t been vocal supporters of the new [old] tyres, while RBR and Mercedes drivers, who are expected to profit most from more conservative tyres, have been praising Pirelli’s latest actions.

  11. Wait, Maldonado really said that? Damn, that’s the definition of arrogance! Whatever, if it works for him all I can do is wish him good luck.

    1. @JCost He expresses his thoughts in a pretty self-confident way but I think that most midfield drivers and even backmarkers think the same way. Even Karthikeyan claimed that the HRT had not allowed him to show his true potential and, if I remember correctly, Yamamoto didn’t see why he couldn’t win the world championship some day!

  12. “I will probably like to race for another team in the future but the future is not next year! Before I leave [Williams] I would like to win the championship with them. In this team we have everything – all the tools – to be world champions again.”

    “Valtteri’s driving style is very gentle whilst my driving style is very aggressive. This has always worked for me up until now. But the fact is that I don’t want to adapt to his style because the tide will change again. I have always won by staying true to my style so I say that the car needs to change – not me!” [Maldo]

    Some great quotes from Maldonado.

  13. What struck me most about the Maldonado interview was his honesty. I can’t think of many drivers who would admit that they lose some enthusiasm driving a poor car, and even less who would say that their teammate has done better than them (“Sure, in the previous races – especially in qualifying – he has done a bit better than me”), especially considering that he and Bottas have actually been pretty evenly-matched so far this season.

  14. Pirelli is simply incompetent. They were always aware that the teams were running extreme camber angles on the car and swapping tyres; but said nothing – because even they were NOT aware it was a risk. So it’s a bit rich blaming the teams now.

    Also, the reason for the swapping of tyres is beacuse, according to James Allen, the teams found out that Pirelli got it’s sums wrong on the symetry of the tyres, and there was a performance gain to be found when the were used on opposite sides. Again Pirelli incompetence and hardly the teams fault for this.
    Button made clear that they have used the tyres according to Pirelli’s guidelines on both cars – in an article on this site, yet the McLaren suffered tyre faliures.

    These faliures have been going on through the year, but Pirelli keeps trotting out different excuses every time – debris, kerbs, and now its low pressures and extreme camber. When will Pirelli own up to its incompetence regarding these tyres that they were never mandated to provide??

    1. Totally agree. Pirelli is getting away with so so much more than Michelin did for having their tires fail at one corner of one venue.

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