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GP Week : Issue 186
Monaco Singapore Abu Dhabi Austin 24/25/26 May 21 / 22 September 1 / 3 November 15/16/17 November AMBER LOUNGE THE ULTIMATE VIP GRAND PRIX EXPERIENCE 2013 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS VIP Parties Fashion Shows Dining Hospitality Live Acts BlackBook-210x282.indd 1 01/03/2013 17:52 F1 >>> nEWs BOyCOTT THREATENEd ... ... ANd AVOIdEd On Thursday evening at the Nurburgring the drivers threatened to withdraw from the German Grand Prix amid concerns of a repeat of the tyre failures that marred the last race at silverstone, but in the end the weekend passed without event as Pirelli’s stop-gap solution held up to the relatively lighter demands of the German circuit. June’s race around the Silverstone circuit was defined by tyres exploding at speeds approaching 300 kilometres an hour, with the sport collectively breathing a sigh of relief that none of the failures had led to a serious accident or injury to drivers and marshals once the chequered flag fell. FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting revealed after the race that he had considered stopping it on safety grounds, while drivers raised the prospect of possibly boycotting the German Grand Prix. “T he drivers of the Grand Prix Drivers Association wish to express their deepest concerns about the events that took place at Silverstone,” the GPDA said in a statement issued on Thursday evening. “ 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 have brought modified rear tyres to the German Grand Prix with an altered construction that uses the Kevlar belt pack as opposed to the high-tensile steel belt pack introduced this year. The modified tyres, a stop-gap solution to prevent a repeat of the problems seen at Silverstone before Pirelli introduce a new range in time for the Hungarian Grand Prix, held up well and fears of a boycott receded following Friday’s practice session. “The tyre feels quite similar, and the degradation is as expected, so nothing changed apart from the safety," McLaren’s Sergio Perez – who suffered two tyre failures over the British Grand Prix weekend – said following practice. “I had a very bad flat spot, and I thought it was going to explode at some point, but the tyre hung on, so that is positive.” The GPDA is a drivers’ union primarily concerned with promoting and improving driver safety. The body also represents drivers in meetings with the FIA and weighs in on other driver- related issues. First formed in 1961 with British motor-racing legend Sir Stirling Moss as its chairman, it has at different times in its history, either vociferously upheld driver rights or lain dormant for years at a time. For more information on the GPDA and driver boycotts over the years, see our feature on page 21 ... 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: