Drivers to boycott German GP (Update) UPDATE [Editor's Note: Drivers and teams are ignoring the fact that it was a combination of the drivers riding the curbs and the Silverstone curb designs that likely caused the failures. See video] McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has warned there is a danger of this weekend's German Grand Prix being boycotted, with various teams and drivers expressing concerns over safety after a succession of tire failures at Silverstone on Sunday.
Four drivers suffered dramatic left-rear blow-outs throughout the 52-lap race, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton describing the situation as "unacceptable" after being struck with the issue along the Wellington Straight while holding the lead.
And with the next round in Germany just days away, it is feared that the events of the 2005 United States GP at Indianapolis, when all Michelin runners withdrew from the race due to blow-outs along the banking section of the track, could arise once more.
"There is that danger of a boycott and rightly so if teams and drivers aren't convinced that they can [race] safely," Whitmarsh, whose team again failed to score a point at Silverstone, explained to Sky Sports.
"But that's not what we want for F1. We have faced some of these issues before at Indianapolis and that was terrible for the sport so we have really got to work together. This is not a time to point fingers, it's time to work together, find a solution and get on with it."
FIA President Jean Todt called an emergency meeting with Pirelli and race director Charlie Whiting at Silverstone last night, before inviting the tire supplier to attend the latest Sporting Working Committee meeting at the Nürburgring on Wednesday.
Pirelli is currently completing investigations as to the root cause of the failures.06/30/13 In a sport which rarely speaks with a united voice, drivers and team principals last night joined Todt in demanding Pirelli take urgent action to prevent any reoccurrence of the failures which also affected Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez.
Felipe Massa called on drivers "to consider a boycott of next week’s German Grand Prix" if a solution to the crisis is not found to Pirelli’s exploding tires. Massa said, "It is unacceptable really. For sure we are going to discuss about that [boycott]. I am 100 percent sure that every driver is complaining about today. When I changed the tires I was thinking ‘maybe this will happen again’ but I said ‘God will protect me'"
Sergio Perez agreed with Massa that measures are required if a strike is to be averted. He said: ‘We are risking our lives and if something like this happens again, we don’t want one of us to be killed.’
Jenson Button, who came home a lowly 13th, said: ‘If we keep these tires we will have a safety issue (in Germany). It was a farce, really. Five tire explosions, whether it is from debris or a tire failure, I don’t care. The result is still the same and the danger is the same.
‘The issues are plain to see. We are not going to let that go.’
Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey warned: ‘There are potentially two issues. The car that has the failure, but also suddenly you have three kilos of tread flying around. If that hits a following driver in the helmet it doesn’t bear thinking about.’ INDEPENDENT