Saturday 16 November 2019

F1: Button hopes new Pirellis will offer safety fears solution ahead of German Grand Prix

McLaren Mercedes' Jenson Button during the 2013 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester
McLaren Mercedes' Jenson Button during the 2013 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Towcester

Ian Parkes

JENSON BUTTON is hoping Pirelli has an ace up its sleeve to ease the fears of every driver heading into this weekend's German Grand Prix.

Pirelli may have finally been given permission by the FIA to conduct tyre tests with this year's car, but with the next race on Sunday it does not solve the immediate safety concerns that exist.

The Nurburgring may not be a high-speed citadel like Silverstone, but the memories of exploding tyres from the British Grand Prix are still all too fresh for the likes of Button.

In particular as McLaren team-mate Sergio Perez was twice at risk as the left-rear tyre on his car failed, once in practice on Saturday, and again late in the race.

"If we keep these tyres, then yes, I have safety concerns, as we all should have," said Button, speaking to Press Association Sport.

"Five tyre explosions, and whether it's from debris or whether it's a tyre failure, I don't pretty much care. The result is the same, the danger is the same.

"It's dangerous for the driver, it's dangerous for the people behind in terms of hitting the car (on which the tyre has failed) or the tread belt hitting the driver.

"Admittedly, the Nurburgring is a very different circuit. With Silverstone there is a massive load on the tyre at high speed.

"But still, you can't have a tyre that fails at certain circuits, and might not fail at other circuits.

"Hopefully, Pirelli has a tyre we can run at the next race because the British Grand Prix was a farce. I don't think it looked good for anyone.

"The need for safety cars for tyre explosions doesn't look good for Pirelli. It's certainly not good for the racing and for the safety."

Pirelli is expected to announce today potential solutions for the German Grand Prix, which Button can only hope do the job otherwise there will be doubts throughout the weekend.

"In a race situation it's worse. When you are racing around thinking 'I've seen a tyre explode in front of me', you don't know when it's going to happen to you," added Button.

"But you push that to the back of your mind. That's the way you are when you are racing - the danger is pushed away because you want to race and you want to do the best you can."

PA Media

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