Spa-Francorchamps: Nico Rosberg admitted he was lucky to walk away unhurt after a spectacular high speed tyre blow-out during yesterday’s second free practice session for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The German lost control of his Mercedes when the right rear Pirelli tyre disintegrated at around 320 kph at the Blanchimont corner. The session was red flagged and suspended while the car and debris were cleared from the majestic but challenging, circuit in the Ardennes forests.
Television replays showed clearly that the tyre had suffered severe delamination before it exploded, sending Rosberg into a full spin in which he was fortunate not to hit the barriers. "That was not a nice experience," said Rosberg.
Keeping his trademark cool Rosberg, who topped the timesheets, added, "A 360 degree spin at 320 kph, or 200 mph, is not something you expect at all. "Luckily, I did not hit the wall....
"Unfortunately, it wasn’t down to my skill. It was just luck that I stayed out of the wall. I didn’t feel anything before, there was no warning. There will be a big analysis. I was feeling quick before then, comfortable." Rosberg set the pace in both practice sessions and his fastest lap of one minute 49.385 seconds in the afternoon was three tenths quicker than Hamilton, who leads Rosberg by 21 points in the drivers’ standings.