Formula One searched for answers after headline-grabbing British Grand Prix tyre blowouts triggered talk of a possible driver boycott in Germany next weekend. Tyre supplier Pirelli began an immediate investigation after four drivers suffered rear-left tyre failures at Silverstone. Ferraris Felipe Massa,who was almost killed by debris shed from a car in front of him at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix,would not rule out drivers considering a boycott if solutions were not in place for Sundays race at the Nuerburgring.
I dont want to say that (drivers would walk out) because I dont want to create loads of problems but this is something that for our safety we can do, he said. McLarens Sergio Perez,another victim of the exploding tyres,said drivers were risking their lives and needed assurances.
Australian Mark Webber,second for Red Bull in the race,said it had been like Russian Roulette and he had been praying for a safety car because nobody knew who would be next.
Perezs team principal Martin Whitmarsh warned that driver action could not be ruled out. I think theres that danger (of a boycott) and rightly so, he told Sky Sports television. If the drivers and the teams cant be convinced that they can do so safely,then they would have to resort to that. Thats not what we want for Formula One. Weve faced some of these issues before. We had it in Indianapolis and that was terrible for the sport, Whitmarsh said,referring to the 2005 US Grand Prix when only six Bridgestone-shod cars started after problems with the Michelin rubber.
The immediate question is whether the problem was track specific or something related to the construction and design. Pirellis director Paul Hembery said that the company had ruled out the cause being linked to a new bonding process. He will join a meeting on Wednesday of Formula Ones sporting working committee,although teams will want to see something tangible before then.