Pirelli switch to Kevlar belts in tires after drivers' threat to boycott German Under-fire manufacturer Pirelli will almost certainly use its Kevlar-belt tires in Germany this weekend as it seeks to address the safety issues arising out of Sunday’s British Grand Prix, Telegraph Sport understands.
Drivers had threatened to boycott the race at the Nürburgring unless modifications were made to the tires after five cars suffered tire blow-outs at Silverstone, some of them while travelling at speeds approaching 200mph. Red Bull’s Mark Webber likened the racing to Russian roulette, with nobody sure who was going to be next to suffer a potentially catastrophic failure.
The chances of a drivers’ boycott are practically non-existent, though, with Pirelli acting swiftly to address the safety concerns.
It is understood the Italian manufacturer will issue a statement today, with a switch from steel to Kevlar belts – which it intended to make in Canada last month before the change was blocked by a handful of teams – coming into effect immediately.
A return to 2012 tires, which also featured Kevlar belts, would have been the preferred solution this weekend but there is insufficient time to prepare them given the five-day turnaround from Sunday’s race to Friday’s first practice session at the Nürburgring. The use of 2012 tire structures, with 2013 compounds, is likely to come into effect from Hungary at the end of July.
In the meantime, Pirelli has two private tests lined up – one at Paul Ricard next week and the other at Barcelona a fortnight later – at which they will be allowed to use a 2013 car. There is also a young driver test scheduled at Silverstone on July 17-19 at which, it was confirmed on Monday, current grand prix race drivers will be allowed to run. A statement from the FIA said that Mercedes, banned from the young driver test after their illegal 1,000km test with Pirelli in May, had accepted it should take no part in the tests “in the interests of the sport.” The Telegraph
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