Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 60 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 60 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions

Analysis: tyre boycott fears fade in German Grand Prix

Fears of further Formula 1 tyre drama and a driver boycott faded rapidly after Friday practice for the German Grand Prix.

Tensions reached at an all-time high on Thursday night when the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) threatened a mass withdrawal if tyre failures continued.

But while F1 will remain on edge until after the chequered flag on Sunday, the combination of the new Kevlar belt, strict limits imposed on pressures and camber, plus a ban on tyre swapping and the lower demands of the Nurburgring circuit did as Pirelli promised, with no problems in practice.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, who has been at the eye of the storm since Silverstone, certainly appeared more relaxed with a trouble-free day behind him.

"You wouldn't expect problems at this type of circuit," he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT about how much better the situation now felt.

"Tensions are always high in these situations, especially when there are only a few days between events. But we've had no problems today."

F1 drivers, who had been outspoken in Thursday night's GPDA meeting with Pirelli and the FIA, were also much calmer as it became clear that the tyre focus was now on strategy not safety.

"It was not a threat," said world champion Sebastian Vettel, a GPDA director, about the body's stance.

"I think we expressed that we trust Pirelli and it was a good day today, but we also expressed that should there be an incident then we should think about it. Fortunately nothing happened today and the tyres were fine."

Romain Grosjean added: "It's nice to see that we had no problems here with tyres. There were big marbles but it's not as bad as before with three kilogrammes of tyres flying.

"We were positive in that we thought Pirelli would have made a change. We are very happy Pirelli made a change to make it safe."

Even Sergio Perez, one of the most outspoken men on safety matters after suffering two tyre failures at Silverstone, was pleased with how the situation had panned out.

Paul Hembery"The tyre feels quite similar, and the degradation is as expected, so nothing changed apart from the safety," he said. "I had a very bad flat spot, and I thought it was going to explode at some point, but the tyre hung on, so that is positive."

Worries that the tyre adjustments would affect the competitive order also eased.

Paul di Resta's Force India team had been among those fearing this, but he felt the change had little impact on performance.

"I don't think there's much difference in the tyres," he said. "That's definitely not why we are where we are today.

"There is quite a big spread - four teams are a big step up the road, McLaren seem to be closer to us so it's probably just our car not suiting the conditions and the track layout at the moment."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed