Alonso: Perez tyre failure could have injured me

2013 German Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2013Fernando Alonso said he could have been badly hurt by Sergio Perez’s tyre failure during the British Grand Prix.

Perez’s left-rear tyre exploded as Alonso was pulling out to pass the McLaren. Fortunately none of the large parts of debris hit Alonso’s crash helmet of his car.

He described the moment he saw the tyre blow in front of him: “Well it was a dangerous situation, no doubt.”

“I think if you watch on TV, that moment I didn’t think anything special I just trying to overtake people. Six laps to the end, so just concentrating on performance.

“Obviously I committed to overtake Sergio on the right, and it was lucky because if I choose the left maybe everything will hit my helmet. There are pieces of steel coming at 300kph so it would be like a bullet, or a knife, so will enter in the helmet and go in the outside of the helmet. So it’s not nice.

“But we need to wait and see. Pirelli made some changes so we trust them. We think that they solve the problem because they probably know how to do it. And wait and see what we can have here.

Alonso said the most important thing for this weekend is that the tyres are safe, regardless of the effect on the performance of the cars: “I think performance today is the second priority. What we need to have is a tyre that will last the race, don?óÔéĽÔäót put in danger anyone and you arrive home Sunday night.”

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30 comments on Alonso: Perez tyre failure could have injured me

  1. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 4th July 2013, 21:06

    Pirelli made some changes so we trust them. We think that they solve the problem because they probably know how to do it. And wait and see what we can have here.

    I don’t know if this is a back off from Fernando or the team told him to be nice with Pirelli for obvious reasons because i already read his statement in Autosprint in which he said that he will boycott the YDT at Silverstone unless Ferrari told him to do so because he doesn’t want to do the Pirelli test driver role

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th July 2013, 13:55

      I think its mentioned in the scope of a possible driver strike @tifoso1989. If you take that in account, Alonso’s statement means that they consider the measures taken to be sufficient to go along with racing here.

  2. celeste (@celeste) said on 4th July 2013, 21:15

    Well I guess is his word againt´s Kimi´s.

    Certanly Massa accident in 2009 show how dangerous is for debris/ rubber travelling really fast to impact a driver.

    • Rybo (@rybo) said on 4th July 2013, 23:29

      Debris and rubber are too different things. The driver get hit with rubber all the time if they are following a car that has run over some marbles. Debris such as fw endplates or a tire carcass for instance is considerably more dangerous.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th July 2013, 0:04

        @rybo Well it seem you are not a fan of CSI, rubber is really dangerous at high speed

        • Rybo (@rybo) said on 5th July 2013, 15:33

          Of course everything is more dangerous at high speed, but it does not change the fact that drivers do occasionally get hit with dust, dirt, and sometimes marbles when following a car that has gone off. A tire carcass however is not rubber, that is debris which could end a very serious injury. What happened in front of both Kimi and Alonoso were horrible, and could have ended a lot worse. They were very lucky.

      • MilleniumBug (@milleniumbug) said on 5th July 2013, 6:47

        Those are marbles you are referring to. If I remembered correctly, Perez blown tire had a huge piece of rubber flying off. Imagine that connecting with a driver’s helmet

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th July 2013, 13:57

        You do forget there that its about a couple of KG with a 300 kmh speed, but also part of the steel belt construction of the tyres.

        That makes for gigantic energy unleashed on the drivers @rybo

  3. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 4th July 2013, 21:17

    When Pirelli took over the F1 tyre contract, I think I remember them using a Super Aguri or Toyota to do tyre tests through the Autumn. Did they do any test with any car (HRT?) last Autumn/Winter?

  4. Traverse (@) said on 4th July 2013, 21:21

    I think Raikkonen was the lucky one as the shrapnel (the Pirelli tyres were bombs waiting to explode!) from Jean-Eric Vergne’s blown tyre actually sprayed across his visor.

    • vaidas (@vecho) said on 4th July 2013, 22:20

      Shrapnel is not that dangerous, super strong helmets can withstand that easily. It’s the belt. Everyone was lucky to get out of that race uninjured. Whiting should have had balls to red flag that race…

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 5th July 2013, 4:29

      Raikkonen was most lucky. The tyre belt that came off jevs tyre probably weighed 7kg traveling at that speed I’m positive it would have generated enough force to snap his neck instantly not to mention kill. For context the spring that hit felipe in 2009 weighed 1.5kg. I’m not saying the others were not bad but if i had to choose between being in kimi’s or alonsos fire proof shoes i’d choose alonsos every time.

    • MilleniumBug (@milleniumbug) said on 5th July 2013, 7:22

      I believed there were pieces of carbon fibre as well. I saw them inside Raikkonnen’s cockpit in the onboard camera shots

  5. Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 4th July 2013, 23:48

    Hate to be nitpicker but, maybe someone should tell him that the pieces of debris were only moving at 300km/h in the spectators’ frame of reference. They were moving far slower as Alonso himself was driving near 300km/h.

    Could the debris have injuired him? Absolutely. But saying that the debris could have gone through his crash helmet like a .50 BMG is quite the stretch.

    • Traverse (@) said on 5th July 2013, 0:03

      But saying that the debris could have gone through his crash helmet like a .50 BMG is quite the stretch.

      Until it happens…

    • Alexis Ryan (@wench) said on 5th July 2013, 0:35

      It doesn’t really work like that as the rotation of the wheel throws the crap backwards.

      • Go Mifune said on 5th July 2013, 3:26

        yes but the material is still moving in a forward direction at the speed of Perez’s car. also your rotational momentum is constantly changing (throwing crap backward, then up then forward, etc) so you would only be talking about any mass that was travelling the opposite direction at the same speed. this is the patch that is on the ground at that moment less broken adhesion, drag, its resistance to change in rotational velocity, and a bunch of other factors. you also have to think about the effect of any mass connected to the piece that would ‘thrown backwards’ as it has an inertial momentum either in a more downward or upward. the explosive force would have a far greater effect on the net change in effectively slowing down (or even reversing) the forward acceleration, causing potential for Alonso to impact at speed relative to any piece.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 5th July 2013, 1:56

      +1 The way I see it Alonso’s biggest danger was loosing control and crashing into a wall, from mechanical damage, rather than being hit directly with the piece of tyre.

    • Macademianut (@macademianut) said on 5th July 2013, 4:07

      When you are trying to use physics, you should at least get the facts right. When tyre rotates, things ar thrown backward, so technically the relative speed could be more than the speed at which the driver at the back is coming because the object and the driver are moving towards each other.

    • Fabio (@efsl0) said on 5th July 2013, 4:20

      you are wrong… the car is going 300, not the debris, and they’re going in the opposite direction of the car, wich make it even worse…

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 5th July 2013, 6:53

      maybe someone should tell him that the pieces of debris were only moving at 300km/h in the spectators’ frame of reference. They were moving far slower as Alonso himself was driving near 300km/h.

      Guessing physics was never one of your stronger subjects

  6. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 5th July 2013, 1:03

    Ive hit a loose tyre tread with my car before…cause a lot of damage, and I was only doing about 50 mph. The car behind me also hit it, his front axle snapped.

    Tyre treads, especially steel belted ones can be bloody dangerous!

  7. Kim Philby (@philby) said on 5th July 2013, 7:13

    It’s quite funny how Fernando does everything in his power to justify nickname “Teflonso”. In 2007-2008 it was the scandals tyregate and spygate, now it is disasters! Last year it was Grosjean and now Perez’s exploding tyre!

  8. XVO Jamie said on 5th July 2013, 13:03

    Alonso could have quite easily made contact with Perez right rear wheel causing him to be launched upwards Mark Webber style. As they were just about to pass under the bridge this could have ended in disaster. All drivers were lucky not do get injured during the race. Charlie Whiting absolutely bottled it when it came to driver safety.

  9. Tariq Patel (@mdtariqp) said on 5th July 2013, 20:33

    This is the second time in 2 years that Alonso has had a narrow escape. Last year’s first lap incident in Spa was no less dangerous.

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