Pirelli cancels tyre test amid Sao Paulo security concerns
Pirelli has cancelled its two-day tyre test at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, following a number security problems over the grand prix weekend.
Pirelli had been due to carry out the test on Tuesday and Wednesday – to analyse its 2018 tyres – with Stoffel Vandoorne and youngster Lando Norris, who will officially step up to the role of reserve next year, behind the wheel.
However over the weekend a number of team vehicles were attacked on their way to and from the circuit, with a driver shuttling Mercedes team members held at gunpoint and forced to hand over valuables.
Thieves also attempted to stop vehicles belonging to Pirelli, Sauber, Williams and the FIA, which has forced Pirelli to call off the test.
"Following a robbery attempt, neutralised by Pirelli security, on a Pirelli van at the Interlagos circuit last Sunday – after a weekend where similar episodes occurred with other teams – it has been decided to cancel the tyre test planned on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 on the Brazilian circuit with McLaren," Pirelli confirmed.
"The decision, shared with McLaren, FIA and Formula 1, was made in the interest of the safety of the personnel, both McLaren's and our own, who would have participated in the test."
A McLaren spokesperson added: "We have jointly decided with Pirelli to cancel this week’s tyre test at Interlagos. The safety of our people has always been our top priority, and, given recent events, we felt that it was an unnecessary risk to proceed."
Pirelli is due to hold a two-day tyre test after the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight, with all 10 teams taking part.