Alonso: Marshals, fans or a driver could have been killed

Fernando Alonso at Silverstone

Fernando Alonso at Silverstone

Fernando Alonso has played down the chance of a driver boycott this weekend at the Nurburgring, while warning that Formula 1 was lucky that no one got hurt or even killed after the blowouts at Silverstone.

Earlier, the Ferrari driver’s teammate Felipe Massa would not rule out the possibility that drivers would refuse to race in Germany, in the wake of the tyre dramas of the British Grand Prix.

At a sponsor event on Wednesday, Spaniard Alonso agreed that if the same tyre situation shaped up at the Nurburgring, “It would be impossible to drive”.

“We experienced things we never want to see again,” said Alonso. “It also could have been a lot worse – marshals, fans or a driver could have been killed.”

Indeed, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks that Alonso himself could have been a victim, as on-board camera footage showed that he only narrowly avoided flying tyre debris at Silverstone.

Marshals are deployed during the British GP to clear debris from the track

Marshals are deployed during the British GP to clear debris from the track

“Make no mistake,” Horner is quoted by El Confidencial newspaper, “Fernando Alonso is someone very lucky to be able to go home [after Silverstone].”

Alonso said on Wednesday: “I’ve heard there have been some changes, but we can’t make any predictions because nobody has tried [the new tyres] yet.”

As for the specific talk of a boycott, however, Alonso is quoted by DPA news agency: “We have to race. For our team, for our sponsors, for the fans.”

Formula 1’s stakeholders met at the Nurburgring’s Dorint hotel on Wednesday, and representing the drivers was Nico Hulkenberg.

Afterwards, the Sauber driver told Sky: “I have no bad feelings going into this weekend now.”

Also at the meeting with Pirelli was FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

Fernando Alonso checks tyres with Ferrari engineer Andrea Stella before the race at Silverstone

Fernando Alonso discussing tyres with Ferrari engineer Andrea Stella before the race at Silverstone

“The data that we have,” he is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, “as well as Pirelli, leads us to believe we will not see a repeat of Silverstone[‘s problems] here in Germany.”

Whiting also played down the impact the changes will have on the pecking order, after Ferrari, Lotus and Force India initially blocked the introduction of the kevlar-belted tyres.

“I don’t think there will be any significant impact, and anyway, all the teams are now fully on board”. he said.

“There were no complaints [during the Dorint meeting] at all,” said Whiting.

Meanwhile, Bild newspaper reports that, before the Hungarian Grand Prix later in July, Pirelli will conduct two tests with 2011-spec cars, at Paul Ricard and Barcelona. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

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  • Spartacus

    Finally, I can agree with Alonso. Yes, someone could have been killed and it could have been him! I might not rate him all that highly as a driver, but seeing him hurt is the last thing I’d want to see.

    There’s little doubt that race should have been stopped. On the second tyre blow out it would have been a marginal decision, but the third blow out it was definite. That we had four during a race is a joke, and added to that the one during practice.

    The tyres were dangerous.

  • hahahaha

    Spartacus, 100% right, I’m a Ferrari man and not so much of an Alonso fan. But right is right! But some people forget that Felipe almost died, even Rosberg in the Monaco Chicane if he went head on in that barrier in 2011 (without that crazy last reflex he was gone 100%).

  • CHL

    As one who goes back a long way,(saw Fangio win Sebring in ’56) I am gland to see some of these young drivers thinking about their mortality. At one time F-1 was a very dangerous sport. As Sir Sterling has said, it was a game for Men and not Ladds. During the 11 years that the Fanger drove F-1, there were 31, repeat 31 F-1 drivers killed! He drove without a seat belt, wearing a Polo and wore a Cork Helmit. He and a lot of the others had great character; they put their asses on the line every time they went out and mostly treated each other with respect. We have some fine young drivers now and I would hope that situations like this tire flap would give them time to reflect on the strength of character of the men that preceded them.