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Driver strike was a serious threat - Perez

ESPN Staff
July 4, 2013 « Massa hopes for Ferrari recovery | F1 drivers threaten German GP boycott »
Sergio Perez: "I think if Pirelli had not changed the construction, for sure we would have done something as drivers" © Getty Images
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Sergio Perez believes a drivers' strike at the German Grand Prix would have been a very real possibility if Pirelli had not acted following the dramatic scenes at the British Grand Prix.

Pirelli has brought rear tyres with a Kevlar belt material rather than steel to the Nurburgring after several blow outs at Silverstone last weekend. There were rumours in the week that the drivers might refuse to race this weekend and Perez believes they would have gone through with the threat if the tyres had not been changed this weekend.

"I think if Pirelli had not changed the construction, for sure we would have done something as drivers," he said. "We were risking our lives and at the end of the day this is a sport and you don't want to be risking your lives. I can't imagine if you have 22 drivers knowing that something as bad as a tyre exploding could happen, I don't think all of us would have gone out and raced. I believe that myself."

Perez experienced two tyre blow outs over the course of the weekend and said the second one, when Fernando Alonso was driving behind him in the race, had been the most worrying.

"It was not nice," he said. "We were risking our lives at a circuit like Silverstone and at any circuit. You don't feel comfortable. As soon as your tyre explodes it's not about you any more, you feel bad if something happens to the car behind. When Fernando overtook me I felt a really big worry about him, but luckily he went the right way past me rather than hit the debris."

Pirelli said the main reasons for the failures had been teams interchanging left and right tyres on the car, running low pressures and extreme camber settings, but Perez insists McLaren did not push the limits.

"I don't agree with that," he added. "We as McLaren always follow the instructions we get from Pirelli. There were five or six tyres that it happened on. I think Pirelli cannot afford to have something like that again."