Formula 1

Pirelli confirm tyre changes for German Grand Prix

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Pirrelli have announced they will return to a tyre similar to that used during the 2012 season in an attempt to prevent the catasrophic punctures that marred the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

As of this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, the Italian tyre manufacture will supply rear tyres with a kevlar internal belt instead of the steel-based rubber used at Silverstone, which is desgined to make them tougher and more resistant to delamination.

Pirelli, who tried to introduce the kevlar belt before the Canadian Grand Prix but was blocked by three teams - Lotus, Ferrari and Force India -  will then revert back to the harder 2012 rubber compound for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of this month.

The changes are being made in an attempt to resolve the tyre issues that have dominated the headlines since Sunday and threatened to throw Formula 1 into crisis.

Five drivers suffered dramatic punctures during Sunday's race, including Lewis Hamilton who went from 1st to last after his rear left failed on lap eight.

Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne also suffered rear-left punctures, which prompted the emergence of the safety car after 15 laps.

Later on, McLaren's Sergio Perez's rear left also gave way, while Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez reported a puncture to his front-left.

Since then Hamilton has slammed the problem, describing it as 'unacceptable' and his fellow drivers have threatened to boycott the German Grand Prix because of fears over their safety.

Race director Charlie Whiting admitted he was close to stopping the race after the three early punctures, while Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was 'lucky to be going home' after he came close to colliding with the back of Perez following his blowout.

Formula 1's governing body the FIA and the World Motor Sport Council have moved to quell fears over safety by allowing Pirelli to test in-season - previously banned and a regulation Mercedes have fallen foul of - and race drivers will now be allowed to take part in this month’s upcoming young driver test at Silverstone on July 17-19.

"They (Pirelli) have complained in the past when these tyres have delaminated - which is certainly nothing to do with it (what happened yesterday)," said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Monday.

"They've said they'd like to sort it out, but they don't have a chance to do any testing because of these bloody silly restrictions we have. But I spoke to Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said 'Let them test'.

"So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests between now and...well, when they want, to try and do something for next year, as well as this year, so that's exactly what's going to happen."

The cause of the problem with the tyres remain unclear, although Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery says a new type of bonding used has been ruled out.

Current speculation over why the tyres gave way places the blame on a combination of factors including the kerbs at Silverstone, the tyres, and the loads placed on the rubber in the high-speed corners.

Pirelli have courted controversy since they were bought back into Formula 1 with a brief to design quicker-wearing tyres that would prompt more action.

They were reprimanded for taking part in an in-season testing session with Mercedes and critics hit out at the action at the Spanish Grand Prix as drivers made a combined 82 pit stops to avoid losing time because of their quickly-wearing tyres.

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