Pirelli has decided to cancel the planned tire test with McLaren in Brazil due to security fears around the Interlagos circuit.
Friday night saw Mercedes team members robbed at gunpoint after their minibus was stopped in traffic shortly after leaving the track in Sao Paulo, with the FIA and Williams escaping similar situations in three separate incidents on the same evening.
Teams made changes to security plans while the police vowed to add an increased presence after dark near the circuit on Saturday, but Sauber was still the subject of another attempted attack the following night when its bus was rammed by a car. On Sunday after the race, Pirelli was involved in an incident when team members leaving the track were also targeted, and the tire manufacturer has decided to cancel its testing with McLaren on security grounds.
“Following a robbery attempt, neutralized 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 [November] on the Brazilian circuit with McLaren,” a Pirelli statement read.
“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.”
Lando Norris had been due to drive on both days of the test for McLaren ahead of heading to Macau to compete in Formula 3 before racing in Formula 2 Abu Dhabi.
Pirelli’s next test will be a two-day session at the Yas Marina Circuit in the week after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with all teams involved in running the 2018 compounds.