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Race director nearly stopped British GP

Jun 30, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Race Getty Images

Formula One race director Charlie Whiting has admitted that he considered red flagging today’s British Grand Prix after a series of large tire failures during the early stages of the race.

Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Jean-Eric Vergne all experienced blowouts before their first stops during the race, with the Toro Rosso’s failure leaving debris strewn across the track and warranting a safety car period. Later on, Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio Perez also suffered similar failures, all of which caused Whiting to question the future of the race.

“It was quite close to being red-flagged; it did occur to me to do that,” Whiting told Autosport.

Whiting’s primary concern was the marshals who had to complete the large clean-up after Vergne’s failure.

“Obviously to clear up all that debris was putting marshals at risk, and it is not satisfactory.

“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.”

Whiting has once again shown himself to have a cool head under pressure, prioritizing the safety of all involved with the grand prix going ahead. The failures have caused great concern, with Felipe Massa believing that his safety was “in the hands of God” during the race. Pirelli are expected to have a meeting with the FIA in the coming few days to discuss the issues.

  1. thememyselfandiguy - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    this italian company Pirelli is redicilous. when you cant deliver on the biggest stage, why should a normal car driver buy your tires? the quality ofitalian production looks very poor these days.

    • jalesi - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Why do you imply that everything that comes out of Italy is low quality? Did you stop buying Michelin tires and french products when they failed to take part of the Gp of Indianapolis?

      • greenarcher2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Agreed. We could also blame Bernie. The people running F1 want poor tires to ensure that more pit stops will be required during races. They should be allowed to use as many tires as they want and drive the shit out of them. racing is racing. it shouldn’t be who can use the tires the best.

  2. purplesectornet - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    wth are you even talking about Bernie says the tires are wrong…LOL…do some of you even bother to read about this sport? lol.

    • apexassassin - Jul 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      oh they read alright. the problem is they also believe everything they read.

      ask them how many tire failures there were at Silverstone and they’ll all say four, because that is what is being reported. though anyone who watched the sessions knows the truth is at least 7. massa (x2), perez, vergne, hamilton, and gutierrez all had tire explosions while alonso (and at least one other unnamed driver) had punctures.

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