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Drivers ready to withdraw from German GP if tyre problems persist
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Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jul 2013   |  6:47 am GMT  |  131 comments

It is very rare for Grand Prix drivers to threaten to boycott a race.

So the actions of the drivers ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix should be taken seriously.

They met to discuss a response to the five tyre failures experienced during last week’s British Grand Prix, which came close to being stopped by Race Director Charlie Whiting.

But it wasn’t stopped and following a meeting of the Grand Prix Drivers Association in the Nurburgring paddock on Thursday, a strongly worded statement was issued, which ramps up the heat in this situation significantly.

“The drivers of 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 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 tyres endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans.”

Pirelli has so far been unwilling to use the word “safety” in regards to the problems they have had with delaminations in April and May and now failures in June. Pirelli’s Paul Hembery insisted that the tyres are safe if used correctly. McLaren’s Sam Michael confirmed yesterday that the team had not run lower tyre pressures, extreme camber angles or swapped tyres around and yet Sergio Perez had suffered a failure.

New rear tyres this weekend, featuring a kevlar belt rather than the troublesome steel one, should mean that the characteristics of the tyres are quite different.

As the people on the front line, the drivers usually do what they are told – as they did at Indianapolis in 2005 when the Michelins were failing in practice on the banking. The Bridgestone teams, led by Ferrari, were not willing to allow a chicane to be built so that the race could go ahead will all competitors, even though the Michelin runners offered to let the Bridgestone runners have the points. They just wanted to put on a show. The then FIA president Max Mosley would not compromise, so the Michelin drivers were instructed by their teams to pull in at the end of the parade lap.

Michelin left the sport soon afterwards.

Ironically it is Michelin that may now return to the sport if this developing situation were to lead to Pirelli departing.

So it is interesting that here the drivers are taking their own political stand, one that will reverberate around the world, as fans and casual observers take note of anything to do with personalities far more than more dry talk of “tyres” – the dominant theme of this 2013 season.

However many observers in the F1 paddock here in Germany question why the drivers waited a week to issue this pointed statement, after Pirelli had done a lot of work on analysis, rather than after Sunday’s race. It may be a question of lack opportunity to meet after the race last Sunday, but the timing makes it seem even more political.

That said, the feeling is that the drivers are entitled to express themselves in this way, given the seriousness of what happened at Silverstone.

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131 Comments
  1. Lycraclad says:

    James,

    The BBC are reporting that Button said:
    “We followed all of Pirelli’s guidelines – on both cars.”

    Is there more to this seeing as Pirelli have made a contradicting statement saying that all of the failures are down to the teams not adhering to their guidelines.

    1. pcoops says:

      Pirelli are in the middle of a PR nightmare, they will say whatever they think reduces the damage to their brand name. Utterly sick of hearing the words Pirelli/Hembrey/Tyres now myself. I hope they get rid of this mess before we have some really exciting new technology at play next season.

      1. James Allen says:

        I think the tyre thing will calm down from Hungary onwards.

        Second half of the season the agenda will be

        1. Financial health of the teams
        2. 2014 technology

      2. FastGuy says:

        Pirelli is in a terrible position by virtue of the contractual arrangement, it appears, and I don’t know why they let themselves get into this.
        They’re required to produce the tires, they hand them over to the teams, and from then on they have no way to enforce the recommendations and requirements they’ve set for those tires. And then when the teams do whatever they want, if anything goes wrong the blame all belongs to Pirelli. Is there something here that I’m missing? In return for all the publicity they get for being the F1 supplier, they have to balance that against something like this. Pirelli are the only ones with “skin in the game;” nobody else exposed to liability and bad press in this situation.
        Almost anything they do to try to save face (and their asses) is OK with me. They’re in deep.

      3. mhilgtx says:

        ON NBC Sports F1 coverage today Paul Hembry admitted they allowed the teams to swap the tires. This makes sense, because I believe it is Pirelli that mounts the tires for the teams.

        Sounds Paul has been caught in yet another lie. Hembry might be a nice guy but he and his bosses have done the brand no favors by they way they handled this. Blaming the teams was a pretty stupid move.

    2. Robert N says:

      In the article James reports that Sam Michael confirmed that McLaren ran the tyres the correct way round on Perez’ car. This clearly contradicts what Pirelli said in their analysis.

      Are the media going to follow this up with Pirelli?

      1. Sebee says:

        Could Sam also release the pressures used please?

        And can we please remember that tires have a defined life. Your car tires don’t last forever, right? Eraser on pencils don’t last forever, right?

        I’m sure one of the specification parameters is also distance the tire can travel. Push it too far it will go BOOM.

        When Picard asked for warp 9.5, there was a point when they had to shut it down too as the engines were past the limit. Even in fictional future there are limits on everything. This is what we have to get a grasp on really.

      2. Glennb says:

        Yet Picard pushed the limits like F1 teams do and always will (thank god). Admittedly F1 teams are not be pursued by “Q”.

      3. fan says:

        Sebbe, your comments are irrational. You think 8 or 9 laps is pushing the tires too long? Stop making excuses for Pirelli. The tires are too fragile and unsafe and people have been saying this since the first race of the season.

      4. David C says:

        Later Martin said that mclaren followed all guidelines on camber and pressure. Its pretty obvious at this stage that there were problems with theirs tyres. Otherwise it makes no sence that 1. Pirelli changed the tyres and said it was on safety grounds 2. Pirelli quickly released a second statement saying they don’t blame the teams 3.teams who were performing great on the tyres like lotus and Firce India didn’t complain as before. I’m not a huge fan of star trek or begging for apologies on boards but it seems pretty obvious that those tyres were bad to me. All said I really hope the new tyres don’t effect the running order too much as it is unfair to change them mid season. Let’s hope next year the tyres are fit for purpose from day 1.

      5. Random 79 says:

        Yep, there’s a Star Trek analogy for every occasion…and yet no-one ever mentions Vulcans in relation to F1. Wonder why that is? :)

      6. Tim says:

        @Random 79
        no-one ever mentions Vulcans in relation to F1. Wonder why that is? :)
        It’s a jet powered, delta wing, long range strategic bomber not operated by the RAF since 1984 – can’t see why they would ;-)

      7. Random 79 says:

        Lol, nicely done Tim :)

      8. Fireman says:

        Maybe the steel belt, kerbs and driving style were enough.

    3. Ed says:

      But Pirelli has admitted they didn’t give any guidance on swapping L and R tyres

      1. Paul Benoit says:

        So they followed all the guidelines then, very cleverly worded to Pirelli’s detrement.

    4. Quade says:

      Mercedes also said they they followed the guidelines, even running toward the higher end of the recommended pressure range.

      Pirelli is just trying to save face by saying (and later retracting) all sorts of things.

      As for the tyres being switched from left to right, it doesn’t make the slightest difference to safety (or performance) as the tyres have a butt joint. The race tracks tend to wear the tyres more heavily on a particular side, so teams swap them to even out the wearing after thrashing them during quali.

      Pirelli’s hinting that tyre switching affects the sidewall that is presented to the kerbs is nonsense, thats because its the whole wheel (hub + tyre) thats switched. In other words, the outer part of the tyre will remain the outer part no matter which way it is switched – of course, the same goes for the inner sidewall.

      1. Sebee says:

        Yes Quade, that’s why there are pictures of the Mercedes with the directional arrows pointing in the wrong direction.

        Seems you’re an expert and you know something the teams don’t know since clearly they are switching the RR and RL tires around to gain performance.

        Also, since you know all about what every team is doing, could you please publish the pressures all teams were running at Silverstone during the GP for each set?

        Finally, could you give us the cambers each team used as well?

        Come on Quade…there is only 1 liferaft left on your sinking ship. Grab it or you’re going in the drink! :-)

      2. Quade says:

        Pictures of Mercedes only? Lol! I guess its the pub factor again. You see only what you want to see, so its like arguing with religious dogma (makes you hit your head on the wall).

        Here are pictures of cars (other than Merc) with swapped tyres.

        Red Bull:
        http://grandprix247.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/dne1304jy03.jpg
        http://img2.auto-motor-und-sport.de/Red-Bull-Reifen-Pirelli-Tyre-Swapping-GP-England-2013-19-fotoshowImageNew-a53de8ea-699547.jpg

        McLaren:
        https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/p480x480/1000375_469952993097668_1597541051_n.jpg

        Ferrari:
        https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/p480x480/944482_469963699763264_377563193_n.jpg

        What were the other requests you made again? Always visit reputable F1 sites and listen to genuine F1 folk for info.

      3. Sebee says:

        OH yeah Quade, did you see the photos of the Pirelli Rear tires right here on JAonF1?

        They don’t have branding on the inner sidewall, so there is your ghost theory that they were somehow mounted the wrong way on the rim. If they were, everyone would see it even on a B&W TV, as rear tires would have just a black sidewall with no markings and no branding.

        Hey, did I ever tell you about this swamp land I have for sale in Florida? Prime future real estate. :-)

      4. Quade says:

        Haha! That was an exercise to illustrate to you that Pirelli was telling porkies when they mentioned how the inner and outer sidewalls are built differently to cope with different stresses.

        If you still don’t get the point, even after pointing out the excellent observation that the inside walls of the tyres are unmarked, then I am not a good teacher. Pirelli’s line about sidewalls will only become relevant on the day one (or more) of the cars is spotted running tyres that are plain on the outside and with the markings on the inside. But so far, when you swap the tyres, the outer sidewall remains the outer sidewall (it will take magic or Pirelli doing the deed to change that). If anything, you’ve provided further proof that Pirelli told a big one. Has the penny dropped?

        Somehow, I think you’re just being sarcastic [mod]

      5. Sebee says:

        Also Quade, since when do we believe what Mercedes said? :-)

      6. Paul Benoit says:

        Very good point. When would the tyres alone ever be switched round? Are the wheels themselves “sided”?

      7. Jonathan says:

        but as someone else pointed out the tyres have a “directional grain” and swapping left to right reverses the direction of forward rotation. In other words think of a roll of paper. In one direction the paper rolls onto the tube and so stays in place. Rotate the other way and it unrolls and leaves the paper behind. If find it very hard to believe the tread would have a butt join as that is very poor practice and would leave a very small glue line – unless you have evidence otherwise?

        Having said that Gary Anderson when technical chief at Jordan said they asked Bridgestone to swap the tyres left to right as the natural grain of the tyre was inclined to have less stress turning one way. The increased stress could be used to increase heat and vice versa.

      8. Quade says:

        Paul Hembery has explained the “directionality” of the tyres to be that the steel ply is laid at an angle to the direction of rotation. I’m not sure if Paul Hembery has a technical background or he’s risen through commercial ranks, because that explanation is meaningless; the angle of the ply would remain the same whichever direction the tyre is pointed.

        I’ll search and post (here in this discussion thread) as soon as I can get an authoritative link concerning the butt joint. However, its the reason teams are confident enough to switch them round and Pirelli never raised a brow. The tyres are the same both ways.

        Yes, Gary Anderson proves that tyre swapping is an age old practise. Its even possible that tyre swapping predated Gary Anderson’s 1997 effort. Teams usually keep such things secret; Gary Anderson’s error was going to tell Goodyear about when he could have gained a valuable advantage. Sadly, Goodyear took it to all the top teams.

      9. Quade says:

        Ok, here’s something from Craig Scarborough (Scarbs of ScarbsF1.com) in Motorsports Monday. Its got other juicy tyre tidbits too:
        http://digital.motorsportmonday.com/launch.aspx?eid=ff1cafce-73c0-401e-9d50-dc70d0a5b982&pnum=50

      10. Torchwood Five says:

        Gary Anderson’s column on the BBC website was where I first spotted the tyre swap reminisce, as an example of something he did or learned back when he worked with an F1 team.

        The next thing I saw was Christian Horner saying that Mercedes could have learned to swap tyres from the Pirelli test, while for me, the source of that idea was the Anderson column. I wasn’t aware of any other origins to the idea – I actually assumed he Horner had read the same article, and was throwing smoke to counter Mercedes’ claims that they learned nothing.

      11. Sebee says:

        One more…guess who said this?

        “I would race. The problems are not just because of the tyres – there can be a lot of influence in why it has happened,” he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

        “We haven’t had a single problem all year, so I have no feeling. [Motor racing] is dangerous anyhow, anything can happen.

        “The reason why they exploded was that the teams were using them wrong. I am fine with it.”

      12. Elie says:

        King Kimi- the only true champion racer !. But this is more a matter of Lotus having the ” golden key” to these tyres and easily the most adaptable driver in the field. We’ve already seen Grosjean can’t do the same on them.

        With Kimi and lotus there are 2 winning tickets to these garbage tyres. If only they have a bit more pace- it would good bye everybody- ya can’t win em all.

  2. Siobhan says:

    Does this mean if there is one tyre failure during practice that the race is off? Will the teams use the tyres correctly (read a quote from Button that the McLaren were using them correctly and yet they suffered too)

    1. Brace says:

      They didn’t use them correctly there are many photos to prove that.

      1. JoeP says:

        I like how Kimi is the only driver to speak openly and honestly about this, and how he’s already rubbished the threat of a boycott and made it very clear that he will race. LOVE the Iceman!

      2. Elie says:

        He’s the best. But he is also in a car that does not have issue with the tyres.

  3. Tim says:

    As if this will happen once the race starts.
    Let’s say it goes the way of Silverstone – they don’t notice any problems during qualifying, but then 10, 15 laps in tyres start failing.

    In a situation like Indianapolis where they all just filed in to the pits before the race started, yeah, it might happen – but that is based on them knowing the problem exists.

    If tyres start failing once the race starts though, it will rely on drivers being willing to give away a potential race win and good points if they’re up there on places, but also on their teams telling them what actually happened to random car parked on the side of the course if it isn’t obvious.

    I don’t see it happening.

    1. Andrew M says:

      Kimi and Lewis aren’t members of the GPDA, so put some money on them getting a 1-2 :)

      1. CW says:

        Lewis Hamilton is, now, a member of the GPDA (although he wasn’t at the beginning of his career). The only three current drivers that aren’t members are:

        Kimi Raikkonen
        Adrian Sutil
        Valtteri Bottas

      2. Andrew M says:

        Thanks, the BBC erroneously reported all the drivers were members apart from Lewis and Kimi in an article, they’ve corrected it now.

      3. David C says:

        I’d put money on marussia and catheram staying out to secure 10th in the constructors championship and get paid …… Could be good to see the focus on their battle for a change.

      4. Random 79 says:

        If this boycott actually goes ahead, David could well be right. FREE POINTS FOR EVERYONE!

      5. Mark says:

        Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Lewis and Kimi are not members of the GPDA?

        If I remember rightly, I don’t think Lewis has ever been a member.

      6. James Allen says:

        Lewis is a member. Bottas, Sutil and Raikkonen aren’t

      7. sandman says:

        Kimi left the GPDA after the Indy ’05 fiasco along with Montoya.

    2. Tim says:

      This is confusing as it will appear that you are agreeing with yourself, or perhaps I am agreeing with myself – either way I agree with your post :-)
      ps Different Tim

      1. Quade says:

        All Tims are correct! :)

      2. Tim3 says:

        lol!

    3. Ben says:

      I can’t see vettel withdrawing. We all know what he thinks of pre race agreements!

      1. Rubbish! says:

        Yes, he thinks they’re rubbish if they don’t suit him! lol…

    4. Hendo says:

      Surely, once the race started, Charlie Whiting would red flag it at the first sign of a blow-out.
      I can’t believe that he didn’t stop last weekends race after the 3rd incident. What was he waiting for? blood?

      1. JoeP says:

        Thank goodness he didn’t redflag the race. We were treated to some very enjoyable spectacle and drama for a change! I really enjoyed Perez’s blowout, too, how it nearly bathed Alonso in shrapnel but how the red car skillfully dodged his opponents disintegrating steel belt.

        Good stuff.

  4. Chris says:

    Just get them to drive on the circuit and avoid the curbs!

    1. Hendo says:

      I just don’t buy these excuses from Pirelli:
      The left to right swapping has been going on all year.
      Red Bull have been running extreme negative camber for years and Martin keeps telling us that as the tyres heat up the pressure increases in them – that’s why they zig zag on the warmup lap – So with a hot weekend like last weekend I bet the actual tyre pressures were within spec. And I bet the teams have been running low pressures for most of the year.
      There was something dodgy with those tyres all along and Pirelli knew it but the FIAs rules meant they couldn’t change them.

      1. Tim says:

        Martin keeps telling us that as the tyres heat up the pressure increases in them…
        Boyles Law I think, can’t remember the exact wording and no doubt someone with a Phd in Physics will correct me. But it goes something like this – the pressure of a fixed volume of gas (eg, within a tyre) is directly proportional to the temperature of the gas :-)

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      That is totally counter-intuitive for a race car driver. It would also mean the cars are not really on the limit and a rather boring procession would result.

      1. Chris says:

        But, they then drive the car to the limits on the circuit, not try to get the straightest line through a corner. Also, they avoid curbs when wet. They might be slower overall, but they would still have to drive the car to the limits. Might actually generate more overtaking opportunities

    3. Quade says:

      Avoid the kerbs and lose a second per lap just because the tyres are rotten?

      The very suggestion is absolutely ridiculous. Every type of motor racing held on track cuts kerbs, even motorGP (thats motobikes).

      1. JoeP says:

        That still doesn’t make it legal, as DC very clearly pointed out.
        Drivers are meant to stay b/w the white lines, and grabbing a tirewall full of kerb is illegal. FIA should start enforcing proper driving standards.

      2. Quade says:

        It is legal. What is disallowed is having all four wheels outside the white lines. The regs say you need only two to be whithin.

      3. Jonathan says:

        One could argue that the they wouldn’t lose a second per lap as the time they are recording is not for a lap but a shortened distance as they go off track and and take short cuts. If you are asked to design a tyre to run on asphalt why should you have to make it survive 50mm ridges?

        What is ridiculous is that the governing body has turned a blind eye to such rule breaking for far too long. Football has finally conceded and is to introduce “Hawkeye”as used by tennis for many years. With the amount of money and brain power F1 teams spend trying to circumvent the rules it really is time the FIA were a bit smarter in enforcing their regulations.

        Reliability (largely due to paddle shift gearboxes) and safety (especially in terms of run off areas) have neutered F1 to such an extent there is very little penalty for venturing off track. Not so long ago going off track meant the end to a driver’s race. It is time some form of electronic policing of kerbs was brought in so that drive through penalties or extended pit stops are triggered.

      4. Quade says:

        I posted this just above -

        “It is legal. What is disallowed is having all four wheels outside the white lines. The regs say you need only two to be whithin.”

  5. j says:

    In all of this mess I just wish that someone, anyone, would call out the three teams that blocked the change to these tires for Silverstone.

    1. DonSimon says:

      I’ve been thinking the same all week. They caused this issue.

      1. errrrr, no they didn’t. pirelli caused this problem by supplying trash tyres in the first lace.

      2. pcoops says:

        ferrari, lotus, force iundia

    2. Zinobia says:

      Pirelli could have changed the tyres on safety grounds. Then they wouldn’t have needed any consent from the teams. But they were to concerned with PR, that isn’t Ferrari, Lotus or Force India’s fault.

  6. goferet says:

    Good on the drivers for taking matters into their own hands for why risk everything for a bunch of politicians.

    The latest episode in this sage just goes to show that not only have the fans lost trust in the Pirelli product but the drivers too and any more failures shall see a walk out.

    Pirelli shouldn’t have taken any chances this weekend, they should have immediately brought out the 2012 compounds for the German Grand Prix for the drivers seem to think this kelvar belt may not be that good.

    Yes, Pirelli keep saying their tyres are safe if used properly but the true definition of safety is that a product will be safe in all kinds of conditions which the Pirellis aren’t.

    As for Michelin from a few years back, their withdrawal means they lost the tyre war with Brigdestone.

    P.s.

    Fingers crossed we do not have any tyre failure, I was already looking forward to the show.

    1. Andrew M says:

      I have to admit, for all the drama I am looking forward to this weekend a lot. The season looked like it was drifting towards a Red Bull benefit and it’s come alive again, through fair means or foul. If Mercedes can claw themselves into either drivers’ or constructors’ contention it could be a belting second half of the season.

  7. C Lin says:

    I am sure Kimi will go racing & wouldn’t care about all this politics!

    Go Kimi!

    1. Phil Glass says:

      Funny that the only driver who actually had hot rubber hit him during the race is the only one NOT complaining!! Kimi is certainly a cool one.

      1. JoeP says:

        The Iceman.

        ‘Nuff said.

  8. Fireman says:

    James,

    Kimi doesn’t belong to GPDA, right? So, this threat won’t hold? :D

  9. Rob Newman says:

    In Indianapolis 2005, it was the teams who didn’t want their drivers to race and this time it is the GPDA who doesn’t want the drivers to race. Does it mean non GPDA members may end up driving? May be only Kimi driving round and round to the chequered flag?

  10. Anne says:

    Too bad The Rolling Stones are not part of the German GP events. Fans don´t even have a Plan B in case of a boycott

  11. Glennb says:

    I would expect that if tyres started exploding during any of the sessions that Charlie would hit the big red button. I don’t think it would get to a stage that the drivers needed to make the decision. They may all talk the talk but I don’t think there’s too much solidarity among this group anyway :) Common sense should prevail and the race will director step up if required. That’s how I see it going down.

  12. Bryan K says:

    There will be no boycott – as always, self interest will prevail over anything else.

    1. Sebee says:

      If I was Marussia, I’d stay in it. Drive the GP, take the huge point haul!

      1. JoeP says:

        Boo-yea! I’m w/ you! Eff ém! Skullduggery or lack-of-solidarity or backstabbing – whatever it takes to get the points!!!

      2. Simmo says:

        And at that speed there would be a lower chance of a failure ;)

      3. Tim says:

        Joking aside, that is why any boycott would fail. It’s all well and good someone like Alonso or Lewis throwing their weight around, as they are well established drIvers. But if say, Toro Rosso or Marussia said to their drIvers, we have a queue of guys just waiting to fill your seat if you don’t get in the car and drive – how long would it be before they had their helmet on and were sat in the car? About 30 seconds would be my guess ;-)

  13. Mark V says:

    If I was Pirelli I would threaten to boycott the rest of the season if Formula 1, its teams and its drivers continue to throw them under the bus in the media the way they have been lately.

    I am not defending Pirelli, just saying this appears to be a systemic problem that everyone bears responsibility in fixing, not just the fault of the tire supplier.

    1. Steve W says:

      If I were Pirelli, I’d just say to hell with it and pack up and go home. Right now. This isn’t doing anything good at all for their reputation. Let F1 find another tire supplier for the rest of the season.

    2. CarlH says:

      If they refused to supply tyres for the rest of the season I suspect it would be the end of Pirelli – not just in F1 but in general.

      Breaking their contract would trigger massive financial sanctions.

    3. Andrew M says:

      I suspect that would be a PR, marketing, legal and financial disaster.

    4. Quade says:

      The tyres are bad. Thats all.

  14. Warren G says:

    What I’m battling to understand is why this has only been a problem at Silverstone and we haven’t seen anything like this before? What changed on the tires that shouldn’t have?

    1. Rajoo says:

      There was tyre delaminations in previous races but not blow-outs like Silverstone. Pirelli brought slightly modified tyres to Silverstone with a stronger bonding process to try to prevent the previous failures. That may have stopped the delaminations but cause the more severe blow-outs instead.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      What changed is that Silverstone is a considerably faster track than any that has previously been racedd on this year. Only the likes of Monza, Spa and, I think, Suzuka are in it’s league speed wise.

  15. Gazzamondo says:

    James,

    Which drivers are not members of the GPDA?

    If, and I hope this isn’t the case, failures occur during the practice sessions, how likely is it that the drivers would withdraw? Is this an empty threat?

    Would the teams be able to replace their drivers for the weekend with drivers who are not members of the GPDA?

    1. JoeP says:

      already answered ad nauseum above:

      Kimi
      sutil
      bottas

  16. Scottonf1 says:

    This was clearly a kerb problem. All failures were on the left side & the teams claim to have been operating them as prescribed by Pirelli. The tyres were letting go all of a sudden not delaminating like earlier in the year. Let’s move onto the next race & return to Silverstone next year after the track is repaired.

    1. Richard D says:

      I think at least one of the failure was on the right!

    2. Rajoo says:

      Alonso had a right rear failure on lap 9 as he was coming into the pits. So no, not all failures were on the left side.

    3. Mark says:

      Like Alonso said, the track layout and the kerbs have been at Silverstone for years. The GP2 races than were held earlier in the day did not have any problems.

      Conclusion: Pirelli tyres are faulty.

      1. cartweel says:

        Of course you know that Pirelli makes the GP2 tires too right??? Ask a manufacturer to make marginal tires (FIA/Bernie), then outlaw meaningful testing (FIA/Teams), then object to any changes during the year (Teams), then have teams running outside of recommended specs (Teams again) and you are left with a situation very hard to be successful in if you are Pirelli. I’m not a fan of this current racing “generation”, but Pirelli is taking way too much heat over this when the blame is clearly spread among all involved. The USGP taught people nothing and it seems like this situation will happen again in a few years…

    4. Quade says:

      There is nothing wrong with the kerbs, but everything wrong with the tyres.

      Cutting the kerbs is standard practise in racing.

      If you can show me a single motor race from anytime in history in which kerbs were not used, I’ll give you the lottery win for this weekend.

      1. Tim says:

        How about the Indy 500? A wall and a white line rumble strip define the track.The drivers certainly do not cut the corners there, not unless they are hoping to crash.-can I have the lottery win please ? :-)
        Btw I’m am being pernickety and I know what you mean.

      2. Quade says:

        You got me, though. :)

  17. Tim says:

    The members of the GPDA should be wary of entering into a pre-race agreement with young Vettel. We all know how flexible he is with such things, particularly if there is a sniff of a win :-)

    1. Me says:

      Vettel is a member of the GPDA.

      1. Andrew M says:

        “Multi 21 Seb. Multi 21.”

      2. Tim says:

        Indeed, he is a director if reports I have read are to be believed. My point was, that he has a somewhat checkered record when it comes to sticking to pre-race agreements!

  18. Pierre says:

    Who are the members of the GPDA and who are not?

    1. Tim says:

      I believe all drivers, bar Kimi and Lewis are members of the GPDA.

      1. CarlH says:

        Any idea why this is?

      2. Glennb says:

        Both were refused membership i believe.

      3. Anne says:

        Add Bottas and Sutil to the non members list

      4. Andrew M says:

        The BBC reported Kimi and Lewis weren’t members, but they seemed to be wrong. Apparently Kimi, Sutil and Bottas aren’t members.

      5. Tim says:

        You are correct and thank you for correcting my post. I read that Lewis and Kimi were not members when the beeb first reported this matter, and then this afternoon they had changed the names of the drivers – very annoying .

    2. DanT says:

      My understanding is that Raikkonen, Sutil and Bottas are not members.

  19. Richard D says:

    I can’t see a drivers boycott happening unless there are a lot of tyre failures during practice. With the benefit of hindsight, the Silverstone race should have been a red flag rather than safety car. Based on that experience I would imagine that Charlie Whiting would stop the German race at the first sign of similar tyre problems. However, I strongly suspect that the problem was unique to Silverstone. As to whether the drivers would meekly slow down and drive into the pitlane, I can’t see that happening.

  20. Tim G says:

    This feels like a positioning statement that is designed to significantly raise the heat on Pirelli.

    Honestly, I can’t see the drivers boycotting the event. If there are any similar failures in practice, then perhaps, but as pointed out, not all drivers are members of the GPDA so the agreement doesn’t really exist. Drivers are at heart fiercely competitive animals: they will use the kerbs, they will push as hard as possible. And any sniff of taking more points towards the title will override any other consideration.

    I agree with a comment above: I’d like to know which teams vetoed the change. Guessing Red Bull are in there. On another note, one of the reasons I think Vettel was booed is because fans recognise Red Bull as the intensely political team they really are, in many ways similar to Ferrari of old. The young, wild image Red Bull would like to have simply doesn’t wash anymore.

  21. Spyros says:

    I thought Michelin weren’t interested in entering a sport without competition between two or more tyre suppliers…

  22. Tom Haythornthwaite says:

    I think this is the first time I’ve heard the Bridgestone teams being blamed for Indy. I thought it was only Max (blaming insurance restrictions) who vetoed the chicane.

    Clarifications?

    1. Quade says:

      The Bridgestone teams (notably Ferrari) were loudly against altering the track. Its an understandable position, you don’t move the goalposts, because your opponent has a cramp.

  23. Andrew M says:

    “McLaren’s Sam Michael confirmed yesterday that the team had not run lower tyre pressures, extreme camber angles or swapped tyres around and yet Sergio Perez had suffered a failure.”

    Wow, it’s almost like Pirelli peddled a whole bunch of unsubstantiated nonsense in their “it wasn’t us guvnor” press release. Shocking.

    1. Tim says:

      I would be very surprised if Pirelli simply invented the claims in their press release. It would be a ridiculous thing to do, as it would be very easy to disprove. All such press releases would, undoubtedly, have to be approved by their in house legal team and I just can’t see them allowing barefaced lies to be written on Pirelli ‘letter headed’ paper. That said I don’t think Pirelli are entirely blameless, either. Their refusal to admit that any kind of safety problem existed, allowed the teams who so wished, to veto any changes. The tyres appear overly fragile, but there is no doubt, in my mind, the teams ‘misuse’ didn’t help either.

  24. Anne says:

    Well it seems Alonso´s car has started the boycott already. Missed the entire practice 1. This car has a mind of it own.

    :)

  25. Craig in Manila says:

    So far this year, we’ve had failures blamed (in no particular order) on debris, and on camber, and on under-inflation, and on kerbs, and on swapping tyres across the cars.

    Can we have a competition to guess the next reason ? Just in case.

    First prize being a set of Pirellis.
    Winner to be chosen by Paul Hembery.

    1. Andrew M says:

      I’ll pass on that prize thanks :)

    2. Quade says:

      The air.

      1. Jonathan says:

        Now now! They don’t use air in the tyres! Many tyre fitters now use nitrogen as it is much more stable than air. I believe that is what F1 use and have done since Bridgestone pioneered this with ferrari only along with special treatment in every respect of the tyres fitted to red cars.

      2. Quade says:

        There is air in the atmosphere they drive through and breath. No?

        Please.

  26. Tony says:

    This could lead to some very strange race results/strategies.

    Say the drivers agree that if there are two or more similar tyre failures they’ll all quit the race – what order do they do it in? Who gets what points?

    If I’m in 11th do I wait until at least one of those in the first 10 quits so I get into the points?

    Maybe Max Chilton pretends to quit but then goes out again and does a few more laps and suddenly Marussia have a chance at a 25 point haul!

  27. Sebee says:

    Boys,

    Stop beating a dead fish and get driving! FIA will watch your tire use and guess what will happen this weekend? That’s right…nothing.

  28. Andy says:

    The GPDA are saying something for the sake of it. They know that what happened at Silverstone was due to a multitude of factors, and that there will be no repeat in Germany.

    If they were that concerned why didn’t they issue a statement on Monday, or is it the teams firing the drivers up in a bid to have a go back at Pirelli after their statement.

  29. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Drivers are OK, it’s FIA responsibility not to go ahead with the race if the tyres are not safe and to demand Pirelli to supply safe tyres for each event. It’s a no-brainer one.

  30. Scott D says:

    I dont see this as being any more than a bit of sabre rattling to show the world that the drivers are not prepared to be seen as robots who just do as they are told. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen.

  31. Gabe says:

    A complete driver boycott will never ever ever happen. Bernie and all of the team principals must be having a good laugh about that one. The words “shut up and drive” may have been used, or “your replacement is at the back of the garage and can be sat in the car in 5 minutes.”

    1. Jodum5 says:

      The top drivers aren’t worried about replacements. Who will replace Hamilton? Alonso? It’ll be tougher for drivers in the smaller teams. But nonetheless who will replace them? What if the replacements dont want to drive? Anyway, these days the 3rd driver for a lot of teams don’t even come to the races. A driver boycott will work as they work in other sports. I hope there is no need for one though.

  32. They won’t bloody withdraw. They’ll say they all will, then one of them will break ranks for the potential boost to his championship standing, then the rest will all follow suit. Predictable breed, racing drivers.

  33. ShaBooPi says:

    This is a bloated threat. We all know the tires aren’t the only reason for failures. I hope it comes down to this just to see who the real racers are. They deserve the spoils. There is always an element of risk in racing… Pirelli has made changes. The brave drivers can collect points and the babies can go home early.

  34. James Clayton says:

    I think that most of the drivers are actually hoping to be able to boycott this race. Paul Hembry and his crew strike me as some kind of gang of bullies. I think the teams and drivers are petrified of getting on the wrong side of Pirelli, as they know just how much influence the corporation has on the outcome of race meetings. Get too critical and you’ll find the tyre selections for the next races all of a sudden go against your vehicle.

    The only teams and drivers who have been supportive of Pirelli in this whole mess are ones who think they’ve found some special way of dealing with the tyres and think they can use it to their advantage. And if a team feels that way then the driver more or less has to tow the corporate line. It was very interesting to hear Massa speaking out in the Silverstone incidents, as Ferarri are one of these teams who believe they’re on to something.

    Now the drivers have the opportunity to make a stand against Pirelli on the grounds of safety, the magical ‘S’ word which elevates them above any responsibility to their employers and their sponsors, and I’m guessing there’s more than couple of drivers who’d like to see the race halted one way another on safety grounds to hammer the final nail into Pirelli’s F1 coffin.

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