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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli "faces a searching examination of its credentials to continue to supply tyres to Formula One" after Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone "was left strewn with exploded rubber," according to the London TELEGRAPH. Nico Rosberg ended up taking the checkered flag, but that followed "a chaotic race in which there were four failures to the left-rear tyres" of Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez. Pirelli "has come in for considerable criticism this season," and Sunday's images "will further damage their floundering reputation." Pirelli is "still to negotiate a new contract from next year" as its initial three-season supply deal, which began in '11 following the withdrawal from F1 of Bridgestone, expires at the end of this year. The powers-that-be at Pirelli "may be wondering whether it is worth their while continuing, in particular given the lack of support they have so far been given" in terms of trying to develop new tires for next year, given the significant change to the engine regulations (TELEGRAPH, 6/30).

PIRELLI TO BE INVESTIGATED: SKY SPORTS' James Galloway reported Pirelli has "been called by the FIA to attend a meeting of the Sporting Committee" ahead of next week's German GP at the Nürburgring. FIA President Jean Todt "has summoned F1's tyre manufacturer to appear at a meeting with team bosses and other relevant parties" at the Nürburgring on Wednesday. Pirelli confirmed in the aftermath of Sunday's race that it "had launched an investigation" into the repeat failures, calling the matter its "top priority" (SKY SPORTS, 6/30).

'DANGEROUS' SITUATION: The BBC's Barretto & Benson reported Mercedes' Hamilton said Pirelli must act now after "dangerous" tire failures. Hamilton: "It needs to be done straight away, it's obviously an issue. It was the first time in my career I've ever felt it was dangerous. Safety is the biggest issue. It's just unacceptable really. It's only when someone gets hurt that someone will do something about it." He added, "It's a waste of time talking to the FIA [Formula 1's governing body] and if they don't do anything that says a lot about them." Pirelli Motorsport Dir Paul Hembery said, "We are taking the situation very seriously and we are currently investigating all tires to determine the cause as soon as possible, ahead of the next grand prix in Germany" (BBC, 6/30).

RED BULL REQUEST: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that F1 "should revert to last year's tyres for safety reasons" to prevent any repeat of Sunday's blowouts. Horner: "This is a Pirelli issue. They need to find a solution, they need to address it. Whether they go back to last year's tire or a different tire, they need a solution." Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey said the situation at Silverstone was the result of ''short-sighted'' behaviour by some rivals who had blocked Pirelli's plans to change the tires for Canada earlier in the month. Newey: "It's a sad state of affairs, but such is the nature of Formula One really" (REUTERS, 6/30).

BOYCOTT PLANNED: In London, Kevin Garside reported after the race, Massa called on drivers "to consider a boycott of next week’s German Grand Prix" if a solution to the crisis is not found. Massa said, "It is unacceptable really. For sure we are going to discuss about that [boycott]. I am 100 percent sure that every driver is complaining about today. When I changed the tires I was thinking ‘maybe this will happen again’ but I said ‘God will protect me'" (INDEPENDENT, 6/30).

F1 "is to introduce a penalty points system from next season" similar to that applied to road users in the U.K., according to the PA. Further amendments to the sporting regulations for '14 "see a return of in-season testing," which was banned from '09 as a way of saving costs. From next season teams "will be permitted to take part in four two-day tests at tracks in Europe and on a Tuesday and Wednesday after a grand prix." Other significant changes see each driver provided with one extra set of tires for use only during the initial 30 minutes of first practice, in order to encourage teams to take to the track at that time without having to worry about using valuable tire wear (PA, 6/28).

Japan's players union has called for the resignation of Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato "following revelations that a new official ball was introduced this season without notifying players," according to the AP. Japan Professional Baseball Players Association Secretary General Toru Matsubara submitted a document to NPB saying that "Kato should resign and be replaced by someone who can demonstrate leadership." With almost half the season played, "NPB acknowledged this month for the first time that a new ball was being used." The new, livelier ball "has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of home runs." The 71-year-old Kato, a former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., said that he did not know the ball "had been changed" (AP, 6/28).

Joint interim Scottish Professional Football League CEOs Neil Doncaster and David Longmuir have both confirmed that "they are to stand for the top job in the new merged set-up," according to Craig Forbes of the SCOTSMAN. The SPFL was finally given the go-ahead "after a deal was struck to reunite the two league bodies after 15 years apart." But one of the first decisions the new six-man SPFL board will have to make is which of its two CEOs -- "former Scottish Premier League boss Doncaster and Longmuir, his counterpart from the old Scottish Football League" -- will lead the organization. Doncaster "remained cagey on his own chances of landing the post." Doncaster: "Interviews will take place over the next 10 days or so but that's for the board to decide who they want to lead the organization in future." Longmuir, meanwhile, said he was keen to be considered, adding, "There will be a process over the next week or so where the newly-appointed board of the SPFL will make a decision (on the new CEO) and I will enter into that process wholeheartedly" (SCOTSMAN, 6/28).