FIA to allow F1's race drivers to take part in Young Driver Test in wake of tyre failures

WMSC also asked to relax in-season tyre change regulations

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 02/07/13 12:51pm

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The FIA says that the events of Silverstone were a 'genuine safety concern'

The FIA says that the events of Silverstone were a 'genuine safety concern'

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Formula 1's race drivers will now be permitted to take part in the Silverstone Young Driver Test from July 17 as the FIA seeks an "urgent solution" for the sport's tyre problems.

Pending the formal approval of the World Motor Sport Council of the requested change to the regulations, regular drivers will be allowed to run "provided it is clear that the purpose of them doing this is to test tyres for Pirelli" and not on any other regular team-specific development work.

Mercedes, however, will still not take part "in the interests of the sport" in wake of their previous ban imposed by the Intentional Tribunal for participating in an unauthorised tyre test after the Spanish GP.

The FIA has also suggested that the three-day test in the gap between the German and Hungarian GPs from July 17-19 "may" also be extended by an extra day.

Speaking in an statement released on Monday evening, FIA President Jean Todt made clear that the events of Sunday's British GP - when five cars experienced tyre blow-outs - represented a "genuine safety concern for the drivers".

"Our priority is to ensure safety for all in Formula 1 and we believe the incidents at Silverstone represent a genuine safety concern for the drivers," Todt said.

"We have thus taken the decision to alter the Young Driver Test to allow teams to use drivers they deem fit to carry out tyre 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."

Significantly, the FIA also revealed that it had asked the WMSC for approval to change Article 12.6.3 of F1's Technical Regulations to "allow for a modification of the specification of the tyres during the Championship season without the unanimous agreement of all competing teams".

Pirelli's previous attempts to revise their compounds and constructions this season had been blocked by some teams with the existing regulations only currently permitting the Italian firm to make changes for performance reasons if all teams agree.

The FIA, which says both measures have been taken to give them the opportunity to take all "necessary actions to ensure safety", has also asked Pirelli for an assurance that there will be no repeat of the tyre failures witnessed at Silverstone at this weekend's German GP or any future grands prix.

Pirelli have yet to reveal the results of their in-house investigations into the multiple failures and the measures they will take to avoid a repeat at the Nurburgring this weekend, although this announcement is expected imminently.

The FIA statement in full
'FIA seeks solution to Silverstone tyre failures:

'In light of a number of significant tyre failures at last weekend's British Grand Prix, Jean Todt today said that the FIA is determined to seek an urgent solution to the problem and as such the FIA will change the format of this month's Formula One Young Driver Test.

'"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 President 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 tyre 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."

'The test, scheduled for July 17-19 at Silverstone, will now allow teams to field drivers who have competed in more than two F1 World Championship events provided it is clear that the purpose of them doing this is to test tyres for Pirelli. The test may also be extended by one day.

'To provide for this, the FIA today informed Formula One's teams that the approval of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) will be immediately sought for a change to article 22.4h (i) of the 2013 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

'Approval will also be sought for a change to the wording of article 12.6.3 of the 2013 Formula One Technical Regulations to allow for a modification of the specification of the tyres during the Championship season without the unanimous agreement of all competing teams.

'This will allow the FIA to take all necessary actions to ensure safety.

'Notwithstanding the revised conditions as set out above, in the interests of the sport the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has accepted to not participate in this test, as per the recent decision of the International Tribunal.

'In the meantime, the FIA has asked Pirelli for an assurance that there will be no repetition of the tyre problems at this weekend's German Grand Prix or at subsequent grand prix.'

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