McLaren, Pirelli cancel Brazil tyre test due to security concerns

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McLaren and Pirelli have cancelled tests scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of a series of attempted armed robberies against Formula One teams in the city at the weekend.

Less than 48 hours after Mercedes team members were subject to a terrifying armed robbery, and despite promises of a heightened police presence around the track, a auto being driven by Pirelli tyre fitters was targeted by robbers.

McLaren said it felt the risk to staff was not worth running the testing after Mercedes team members had been left shaken after having guns held to their heads.

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Pirelli added: '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 made a decision to cancel the tyre test planned on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 on the Brazilian circuit with Team McLaren.

Mercedes has won both of this year's championships for the fourth year in a row with Lewis Hamilton arriving in Brazil as a four-times world champion. A shot was sacked in the air and a gun held at a man's head as the robbers stole watches and wallets.

Although nothing was stolen, and all the Pirelli crew were uninjured, the incident will prompt unease among F1 members because there had been promise of extra police around the Interlagos venue.

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Massa said: "It is a great sadness, not only for people who came and were there, but also for those who hear this and are Brazilian".

"I'm very close with all the guys that got pulled aside and you can't imagine what they were feeling or going through at the time". 'The frustrating thing is I have been in F1 for 10 years and every year that has happened to someone in the paddock.

"I'm sure that's an issue that the government here are fighting, but maybe on this weekend there are protocols that are put in place that help. F1 and the teams need to do more, there's no excuse!"

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"It's not good just the bosses having security and myself having security, everyone needs to be looked after". "It should be for the whole paddock".

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