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F1 drivers threaten German GP boycott over tire safety

updated 4:36 PM EDT, Thu July 4, 2013
Lewis Hamilton pits with a shredded left rear tire after his high speed blow out at Silverstone in the British GP.
Lewis Hamilton pits with a shredded left rear tire after his high speed blow out at Silverstone in the British GP.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • F1 drivers threaten to boycott German GP over tire safety
  • Their association expresses grave concerns over events at Silverstone
  • Five drivers suffered tire failures in British Grand Prix
  • Fernando Alonso says they have to place trust in tire manufacturer Pirelli

(CNN) -- Formula One drivers threatened to boycott the German GP this weekend if the tire problems which blighted the British round at Silverstone are repeated.

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) issued a statement after a meeting Thursday to "express their deepest concerns" over the events Sunday which saw five drivers, including race leader Lewis Hamilton, suffer high speed blow outs.

Manufacturer Pirelli promised prompt action after the chaotic scenes and new tires will be used, which feature a Kevlar belt rather than the steel one previously used, apparently offering better protection from punctures.

Teams have also been banned from tire swapping and have been told to adhere to limits on tire pressures.

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"We trust that the changes made to the tires will have the desired results and that similar problems will not occur during the German GP weekend," said the GPDA.

"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."

Aside from Hamilton, who battled back to fourth place behind victorious Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez were also affected, with four of the drivers suffering the same left rear tire blow out.

The stars of the grid said that if similar events manifested themselves at Nurburgring then they would not hesitate to pull out of the race.

"We shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tires endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans," ended the statement.

Read: Pirelli comes out fighting over tire controversy

Earlier, Ferrari ace Fernando Alonso, who narrowly avoided serious injury when debris from Perez's puncture nearly hit him at high speed, said he was keeping his fingers crossed that the problems will be eradicated by the new measures introduced by Pirelli.

"At the moment, we can't make any predictions, because no one has tried them and we don't know what and how many benefits they can bring, apart from trusting in the fact that it won't be dangerous to race, " he told the official Ferrari website.

"Let's hope that means all drivers can race in safe conditions," he added.

Alonso, second in the title race, will be hoping the triple defending champion Sebastian Vettel will extend his run of failing to win his home grand prix, despite his incredible success of recent seasons in the Red Bull.

The 26-year-old German secured his first podium finish in F1 at the 2009 race but has not improved on that result.

"Surely, it is special," he said. "In terms of championship points, it is the same as every other place, but it is something special to race in front of your home crowd," he told the official F1 website.

Friday sees the first practice runs on the famous circuit and the first chance to see if any further tire problems arise after last Sunday's worrying scenes.

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