In a statement issued at the Nurburgring this evening, the GPDA (Grand Prix Driver’s Association) has warned that if the Silverstone tire drama is repeated at this weekend’s German Grand Prix, they will “immediately withdraw from the event”.
The British Grand Prix will be remembered for it’s tire fiasco following five separate tire delamanations over the weekend including four in the race – three of which occurred within five laps of each other. A Safety Car was deployed mid-race to clear up debris on track following the punctures and race director Charlie Whiting subsequently admitted that he almost red-flagged the race.
Drivers expressed their concerns post-race when Ferrari’s Felipe Massa said that they had put everything “in God’s hands”. In line with such, the GPDA’s reasoning behind their statement is, “as this avoidable problem with the tyres endangers again the lives of drivers,marshals and fans”.
In a sport still mourning the first fatality since 2001, any unnecessary risk to racing is completely unacceptable and the GPDA’s statement seems to be following the same lines. Although Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen said yesterday that danger is all part of the sport, it should be kept to the bare minimum, and flying tire carcasses are certainly not a regular part of the sport.
On another note, blame for the delaminations cannot be completely pinned on Pirelli as teams have continuously defied Pirelli’s suggestions such as running a low pressure level or swapping the tires – putting the left tire on the right and vice versa.
Also, teams such as Ferrari and Lotus who had earlier boycotted Pirelli’s efforts to change the make up of the tire for safety purposes, have now withdrawn their objection following the British Grand Prix.
Full GPDA statement:
“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.”