Fleet Street warns 'F1 is in crisis' after the sport 'flirted with death' at Silverstone

But papers also blame teams and FIA for British GP debacle

Last Updated: 01/07/13 10:26am

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The spate of tyre failures marred Sunday's race - a race which ought to have been stopped according to the papers

The spate of tyre failures marred Sunday's race - a race which ought to have been stopped according to the papers

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Fleet Street has reacted with a mixture of incredulity and anger to the tyre blowouts which ruined Sunday's British GP and may yet spark withdrawals from next week's German GP.

As the backpage of The Guardian starkly observes, 'Formula One is in crisis' amid mounting concerns that the Silverstone debacle will result in a Nurburgring boycott following the spate of tyre failures which left both Pirelli and the sport in the dock this weekend. And worse may yet be to follow.

'With six days before the next race, there is little time for Pirelli to get their rubber right. A drivers' strike is unlikely although feelings will be running high when they have their traditional meeting on Friday evening,' adds correspondent Paul Weaver.

It is perhaps telling in itself that while there is a welter of reaction to Sunday's grand prix, actual race reports are buried deep inside the inside pages. 'In the end the win claimed by Nico Rosberg was almost irrelevant,' observes Kevin Garside of The Independent. As has been the case throughout the 2013 season, tyres are still overshadowing everything else in F1 at present.

'Some 1 may die', declares a two-page banner in The Sun, while The Daily Mail leads with 'Terror Tyres' and 'Out of Control'.

Taking their lead from the post-race comments of Lewis Hamilton, I'm scared' is splashed across the backpage of The Daily Mirror.

'With every failure, F1 moved closer to the precipice' opines the paper's F1 writer Byron Young. 'All they [the Silverstone attendees] witnessed was the very fabric of Formula 1 falling apart as four cars suffered potentially catastrophic danger. A race that should have been stopped proceeded heedless of the dangers.'

Such is Young's certainty that race director Charlie Whiting ought to have red-flagged the grand prix that he describes the sport as 'flirting with death' on Sunday.

Yet despite the emotive nature of proceedings, the papers also carry plenty of considered reflection on how F1 landed itself in such a dangerous state - and why finding a solution could still prove problematic, if not elusive, despite the obvious gravity of the situation.

'Pirelli were getting the blame last night but they had suggested a return to tyres with a high-tech Kevlar band and needed the unanimous agreement of the teams,' writes The Times' Kevin Eason. 'This is a group of 11 who couldn't agree the race was on a Sunday; the self-interest of those teams doing well - Ferrari, Force India and Lotus - meant that the vote could not be carried.'

'As far as the racing is concerned, Pirelli can justifiably claim that it is producing only what it has been asked for,' concurs Tom Cary of The Daily Telegraph. 'As for the issue of safety, it says its hands are tied by the ban on in-season testing and the paranoia which means teams will not give the supplier current cars with which to test. This led to Pirelli's controversial test with Mercedes.'

According to The Daily Mail's Jonathan McEvoy, Pirelli have reiterated their offer to revert to tyres based around a Kevlar belt. 'The snag is that the teams who have rumbled how best to use the new steel-based tyres - Ferrari, Force India and Lotus - are unwilling to surrender their advantage by submitting to the idea,' he writes. 'It therefore falls to the FIA to impose their will on the disunited teams. There is rarely any other way in Formula One. You simply cannot allow the teams - selfish and disputatious - to govern themselves.'

As The Independent ruefully but sagely remarks midway through its reflections on Sunday's explosive drama, 'what a mess'.

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