Fernando Alonso has played down the chance of a driver boycott this weekend at the Nurburgring.
Earlier, the Ferrari driver’s teammate Felipe Massa would not rule out the possibility drivers will refuse to race in Germany, in the wake of the tyre-exploding British grand prix. At a sponsor event on Wednesday, Spaniard Alonso agreed that if the same tyre situation shaped up at the Nurburgring, “It would be impossible to drive”. “We experienced things we never want to see again,” said Alonso. “It also could have been a lot worse — marshals, fans or a driver could have been killed.”
Indeed, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks Alonso himself could have been the victim, as on-board footage shows he only narrowly avoided flying tyre debris at Silverstone. “Make no mistake,” Horner is quoted by El Confidencial newspaper, “Fernando Alonso is someone very lucky to be able to go home (after Silverstone).”
Alonso said on Wednesday: “I’ve heard there have been some changes, but we can’t make any predictions because nobody has tried them (the new tyres) yet.” As for the specific talk of a boycott, however, Alonso is quoted by DPA news agency: “We have to race. “For our team, for our sponsors, for the fans.” F1’s stakeholders met at the Nurburgring’s Dorint hotel on Wednesday, and representing the drivers was Nico Hulkenberg.
Afterwards, the Sauber driver told Sky: “I have no bad feelings going into this weekend now.” Also at the meeting with Pirelli was FIA race director Charlie Whiting. “The data that we have,” he is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, “as well as Pirelli, leads us to believe we will not see a repeat of Silverstone here in Germany.”
Whiting also played down the impact the changes will have on the pecking order, after Ferrari, Lotus and Force India initially blocked the introduction of the kevlar-belted tyres. “I don’t think there will be any significant impact,” he said. And, anyway, he said all the teams are now fully on board. “There were no complaints (during the Dorint meeting) at all,” said Whiting.
Meanwhile, Bild newspaper reports that, before the Hungarian grand prix later in July, Pirelli will conduct two tests with 2011-spec cars, at Paul Ricard and Barcelona.
Info: GMM, Image: Ferrari