Horner: Alonso could have been killed

Tuesday 02-July-2013 10:59

Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Fernando Alonso is lucky to be alive after the Ferrari driver narrowly missed the pieces of debris that flew off Sergio Perez's car after the McLaren driver's left rear tyre exploded on the Hangar Straight at Silverstone.

Horner's comments came after Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Perez all suffered left rear failures during the British Grand Prix on Sunday, which raised questions about driver's safety during high-speed tyre blow-outs.

"We need to think of driver safety. Make no mistake about it, Alonso is a very lucky boy to be going home," Horner told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's not right. Forget performance; forget who has an advantage and who doesn't. The sport has to be safe. The most important thing is driver safety. I'm surprised they didn't stop the race in many respects.

"It's a safety issue now."

Alonso was in position to pass Perez in the moments before the Mexican's tyre burst. The two-time world champion avoided the pieces of debris flying off the McLaren and was fortunate not to be hit by pieces of rubber and metal.

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

Earlier, Formula One race director Charlie Whiting said that he nearly red flagged the race because of safety concerns, while Jean Todt demanded Pirelli to find a solution during the Sporting Working Group meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

"It was quite close to being red-flagged," Whiting said earlier this week.

"It did occur to me to do that. We haven't seen a failure like this before; we have seen other types of failure - and that is what has been addressed. So we need to analyse it very carefully to see if we can establish the cause.

"Pirelli have got to analyse it, to try and find the cause," he continued.

"We need to make decisions earlier than Wednesday."

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed on Monday that the FIA will allow Pirelli to conduct two additional three-day tests in order to come to the bottom of the delamination problems that have plagued the season so far.

"They (Pirelli) have complained in the past when these tyres have delaminated - which is certainly nothing to do with it (what happened at Silverstone on Sunday)," Ecclestone said.

"They've said they'd like to sort it out, but they don't have a chance to do any testing because of these silly restrictions we have. But I spoke to Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said 'Let them test'.

"So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests between now and... well, when they want, to try to do something for next year, as well as this year, so that's exactly what's going to happen."

Pirelli supplied medium and hard tyres for Silverstone, which were also used in Malaysia, Bahrain and Spain earlier in the season.

In Bahrain, Hamilton and Massa suffered blow-outs too, although they differed from those suffered at Silverstone.

© 2014 - 365 Media Group

Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.