• British Grand Prix

'I was so scared and so lucky' - Alonso

ESPN Staff
July 1, 2013 « Todt warns against knee-jerk reaction | Silverstone tyre fiasco could have been avoided - Newey »
Fernando Alonso: "I was so scared and so lucky because I missed the contact by one centimetre" © Sutton Images

Formula One drivers feel their safety is on the line after the dramatic events of the British Grand Prix.

Pirelli experienced five blow outs over the course of the weekend, four of which happened during the race, littering the track with debris and rubber. Perhaps the most dangerous of all came when one of Sergio Perez's tyres exploded on the Hanger Straight and debris, including the tyre tread, was flung towards Fernando Alonso's pursuing Ferrari.

"That one with Sergio I was so scared and so lucky because I missed the contact by one centimetre," Alonso said after the race.

Race winner Nico Rosberg said the drivers should never have been put at such risk.

"Well, we shouldn't get into that situation," he said. "We need to do what needs to be done to sort it out and make the tyres last."

Lewis Hamilton lost the lead of the race when his tyre exploded on the Wellington Straight and he said he was concerned someone was going to get hurt.

"What happened is just unacceptable," he said. "Safety is the biggest issue. Someone could've crashed. Behind the safety car I was thinking it was only when someone gets hurt that something will be done about it."

McLaren's Jenson Button said Formula One was lucky to come away from Silverstone without a more severe accident.

"If we keep these tyres, yes, we will have a safety issue," he said. "We were lucky that nothing worse happened. The reason why we have not got different tyres yet is because not all the teams have signed them off yet.

"But I think when it comes down to safety, it should just be done. I know that's not in the regulations but it should be done. Finally, hopefully, everyone realises we have a bigger problem than we thought. Five tyre explosions, whether it is from debris or a tyre failure, I don't care. The result is still the same and the danger is the same.

"It is dangerous for the driver and for the people behind, whether it is debris hitting the car or the tyre belt hitting the driver."