Pirelli asks teams to stick to rules
NUERBURGRING, Germany (AP)
With some of the leading Formula One drivers threatening to boycott the German Grand Prix if tire blowouts persist, Pirelli has asked the teams to ensure safety by strictly respecting tire operation requirements.
The tire supplier wants all teams to remain within the prescribed pressure limits and to stop switching tires from left to right and vice versa.
The International Automobile Federation said on Friday it was the responsibility of each team to comply with the requirements.
Late Thursday, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association said the drivers would pull out if tire problems persist in Germany.
The tire problems became an issue at last week's British GP, when five cars sustained blowouts, leading drivers to express concern for the safety of themselves, stewards and fans.
"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," the GPDA said. "However, the drivers have decided if similar problems should manifest themselves during the German GP, we shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tires endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans."
This weekend, the belt on the rear tires will be made of Kevlar instead of steel in an effort to reduce the chance of punctures.
From the Hungarian GP at the end of this month, the tires will change again, using the 2012 construction with 2013 compounds.
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In the paddock at the Nuerburgring, some drivers praised Pirelli for acting quickly to rectify the problem. But the GPDA, chaired by Pedro de la Rosa and with Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button as directors, met later and decided to take their own action in order to avoid a repeat of the scenes from Silverstone.
Not all divers are members of the GPDA -- Kimi Raikkonnen of Lotus and Adrian Sutil of Force India are among non-members.