'I almost red-flagged race' – Whiting
30 June 2013 – 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 tyre failures.
Whiting, who deployed the Safety Car following the third tyre-related incident involving Jean-Éric 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 analyse 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 tyres that did not fail could provide vital clues for sole tyre supplier Pirelli.
"It is too early to draw any conclusions," he said. "They have a lot of analysing to do. This includes the tyres 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.