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Motorsport | Formula 1

Fernando Alonso © Gallo Images

Alonso, Massa poised for extra tyre test



Ferrari duo Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa are poised to take advantage of a young drivers' test later this month as Formula One teams attempt to address the tyre problems which blighted last weekend's British Grand Prix.

A spate of punctures put drivers in danger and left manufacture Pirelli under pressure to improve tyres which have already come under scrutiny this season for disintegrating too quickly.

A young drivers' test is pencilled in for Silverstone between July 17 and July 19, with Formula One's rising stars supposed to take part.

But Ferrari Sporting Director Massimo Rivola has confirmed that his team's young guns may be overlooked to allow Massa and Alonso the chance to get some laps in on whatever new tyres Pirelli come up with.

"Well, after Silverstone I have to say we cannot hide the problem," Rivola said this week .

"I'm thinking about may be the young driver test we will have here in Silverstone the 17, 18, 19 of July. We are supposed to test young drivers, but to be honest I would do three days of tyre testing, if Pirelli is ready with some ideas on materials, with the racing drivers because obviously the racing drivers have an idea of the race and they know what is the feeling of the car and the tyre behaviour. I think we should do something really serious about that."

At Silverstone on Sunday, Alonso battled to a creditable third place after starting ninth, while Massa claimed sixth after qualifying 11th.

Rivola explained that, given the performances, he was not particularly confident going into Sunday's German Grand Prix, but Ferrari had managed to overturn the form book before.

"To be honest after the performance of the last race at Silverstone I cannot say that we are ready for P1," he said.

"But there are races where we we won like Spain or China. The car was, the performance was different in different conditions, considering we will have different tyres in Germany, the temperature will be different, the track lay out will be different, there are many things that could steer in our favour, but first of all we need to find out why we were not competitive enough here and then if we solve that problem then we can fight for P1."

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