'I almost red-flagged race' – Whiting Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has revealed that the British Grand Prix was close to being red-flagged, with four drivers suffering left-rear tire failures.
Whiting, who deployed the Safety Car following the third tire-related incident involving Jean-Eric Vergne, argued that alongside the danger to drivers, marshals were being put under increasing risk as they attempted to clear away the mass of debris.
"It was quite close to being red-flagged; it did occur to me to do that," said Whiting. "To clear up all the debris was putting marshals at risk, and it is not satisfactory. We haven't seen a failure like this before – and that is what has been addressed. So we need to analyze it very carefully to see if we are able to establish the cause."
Whiting said it is "too early to draw conclusions" as to the cause of the issues, but reckons tires that did not fail could provide vital clues for sole tire supplier Pirelli.
"It is too early to draw any conclusions," he said. "They have a lot of analyzing to do. This includes the tires that didn't fail, because maybe we will find something there that was on the verge of failing that will give us a better indicator of what happened."
Whiting added that although the failures will discussed at a meeting of the Sporting Working Group on Wednesday, a solution that suits all parties needs to be found in advance, with the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring taking place on the weekend.
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