Formula One Body Looks to Solve Tire Blowouts After British Race

Formula One’s governing body will allow teams to test tires during a young drivers training session at the home of the British Grand Prix as it tries to find a solution to issues that caused four blowouts yesterday.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was leading from pole position, in front of his home crowd, when his left rear tire exploded on the eighth lap at Silverstone. He battled back to finish fourth. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and McLaren’s Sergio Perez also had tire failures as track temperatures reached about 31 degrees Celsius (88 Fahrenheit).

Teams will be allowed to use more experienced drivers in the young driver’s test, held July 17-19, in order to help Pirelli & C. SpA improve their tires, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA, said today on its website.

“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,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “We have thus taken the decision to alter the Young Driver Test to allow teams to use drivers they deem fit to carry out tire development work in a bid to solve the problems we saw at the British Grand Prix. I believe it is fitting to carry out this work at the circuit upon which the issues were manifested.”

Formula One’s ruling body has called Pirelli into a meeting to discuss the matter on July 3. The next race is the German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring on July 7. Pirelli, Europe’s third-largest tire maker, is the sole tire supplier in Formula One.

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