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GPDA issues boycott warning over Pirelli tires

Jul 4, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Race Getty Images

The Grand Prix Drivers’ Assocation has issued a statement warning that if their safety is not guaranteed during the German Grand Prix, they will not hesitate to boycott the race.

At last weekend’s British Grand Prix, five tire failures caused many to question the safety of the existing Pirelli compounds, causing the Italian supplier to bring its prototype tire to the Nurburgring in an attempt to remedy the situation. However, the drivers have still been quick to issue this warning.

“The drivers of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wish to express their deepest concerns about the events that took place at Silverstone,” the statement reads. “We trust that the changes made to the tires will have the desired results and that similar problems will not occur during the German GP weekend.

“We are ready 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 GP, we shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tires endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans.”

This stark warning will cause many to remember the 2005 United States Grand Prix which saw just six cars race after Michelin declared their tires to be unsafe. Although the Nurburgring is not expected to cause as much wear on the tires as we witnessed at Silverstone, the possibility of an accident over something avoidable has rightly caused the GPDA to issue this statement.

  1. wallio - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    eh, Indy 2005 was about a lot more than just tyres. That was just the excuse they used. It was wayyyyy more political than that.

    • indycarseries500 - Jul 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      I’ll never buy that, I think Toyota may have put a bad setup on the cars and Michelin may have overreacted or maybe they had a problem on all cars. Politics make no sense, Michelin wouldn’t have wanted that PR nightmare so their teams could prove a point and there were a couple teams like Red Bull that weren’t even in the GPMA.

  2. wallio - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Well Jarno Trulli was on pole for the race, and he later said that they had decided not to race on Saturday morning already (before the last few failures) and put less than 5 laps of fuel on board for quali (teams qualified on starting fuel loads back then) because they knew it didn’t matter, as they were never going to race. The tyres just gave them a public reason.

    • indycarseries500 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:35 AM

      There were no tire failures on Saturday, they were all on Friday. The Michelin runners had already decided not to run and all their teams only took 1 or 2 fliers on Saturday practice and their qualifying lap.

  3. apexassassin - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    This isn’t anything lke 2005 aside from the GPDA being concerned for everyone’s saftey and rightfully so! We’ve already seen one death in F1 this year and that’s one too many.

    • apexassassin - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Here is Pat Fry’s comments from the Firday Press Conference at the Nurburgring:

      “Silverstone is now the highest loaded circuit that we go to – it obviously used to be Indianapolis – and the type of failure, if you see it, was likely to be structural fatigue failure.”

    • indycarseries500 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:37 AM

      It’s somewhat similar, only difference is everyone is on the same tire but like you said where you quoted Pat Fry Silverstone has the highest loads they see all year and it shouldn’t be a problem from here on out.

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