- Pirelli tyre row
FIA rips up its own rule book
- In Focus:
A failure of F1's making
- It would be easy to blame Pirelli for the events that unfolded on Sunday afternoon. It was their name on the exploding rubber and it is their reputation that will be hardest hit. But this was a problem of Formula One's own making and its roots, which stretch right the way down the paddock, date back to the start of the season and are a reflection of a much deeper problem in the sport.
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The FIA has ripped up its own rule book and in effect turned the Young Driver Test (YDT) at Silverstone later this month into a fully-fledged test session to try to get to the bottom of the tyre issues seen at the British Grand Prix. It has also extended the test from three days to four.
Under intense pressure to act after the tyre farce at the British Grand Prix which almost caused the race to be red-flagged, FIA president Jean Todt said race drivers would be allowed to take part as long as it is clear they are carrying out tyre tests for Pirelli. The changes were as a result of the organisation being "determined to seek an urgent solution to the problem".
"Our priority is to ensure safety for all in Formula One and we believe the incidents at Silverstone represent a genuine safety concern for the drivers," Todt said. "I believe it is fitting to carry out this work at the circuit upon which the issues were manifested."
Mercedes will still be banned from the testing which starts on July 17 as a punishment for its illegal sessions in Barcelona. While missing the YDT seemed at the time to be the gentlest slap on the wrist, it now becomes more meaningful.
With no time to test ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix and the FIA has asked Pirelli for an assurance that there will be no repetition of the tyre problems at the Nurburgring.
To allow the changes the FIA World Motor Sport Council will have to change its own regulations regarding testing and also to allow Pirelli to change the specification of the tyres mid-season without the unanimous agreement of the teams.
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