Fernando Alonso insists 'kerbs have never been a problem' at Silverstone amid tyre fallout
Ferrari driver admits he was "scared" when Perez tyre blew
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 30/06/13 6:42pm
Fernando Alonso has expressed his doubt that Silverstone's kerbs were to blame for the tyre failures which blighted Sunday's British Grand Prix.
After Lewis Hamilton, Jean-Eric Vergne and Alonso's own Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa had suffered spectacular left-rear blow-outs in the opening stages of Sunday's race, the drivers were urged over team radio to stay away high-speed Silverstone's kerbs in an attempt to guard against any more punctures.
Most drivers noticeably didn't heed this advice and Alonso was particularly open about the fact after overcoming his poor qualifying result, and what he admitted were several "lucky" moments, to finish on the bottom step of the podium.
"It was impossible. I didn't stay off the kerbs to be honest," he told Sky Sports F1.
"I was position 11th, ninth, eighth. You are in dirty air behind people so you are not in control perfectly of the car where you will position the car at the exit of the corners."
And in a cutting response to early suggestions that the kerbs may have directly triggered the repeat failures, the double World Champion added: "I don't think that the kerbs have any influence because I have been racing 12 years now in Silverstone and the kerbs they were never a problem.
"So I don't think that this year they were a problem."
Alonso got an unwanted close-up experience of one of the spectacular tyre blowouts when he was battling with McLaren's Sergio Perez into the closing stages of the race.
"A scary moment. It was high-speed in the middle of the straight," Alonso recalled.
"I was committed to go to the right to do the move on the right of him and I was lucky because if I committed to do the move on the left maybe all these pieces of the tyre will arrive to me. That's something we don't want to see but we don't know the solution either, so it's a question for Pirelli."
Having slumped to tenth place in qualifying, Alonso admitted that leaving Silverstone having closed to within 21 points of perennial title rival Sebastian Vettel - who dropped out while leading with a gearbox problem - showed that good fortune had certainly been on his side in more than one regard on Sunday.
"It was a fantastic result for a very difficult weekend. To score 15 points more than Sebastian is not normal in any weekend of the championship and even more difficult when your weekend is not so competitive," he said.
"We did a good race, a lucky race in many moments because we had some tyre failures in front of us. We had some tyre failure ourselves in the first stop but it was happening in the last corner and I came to the pits so I lost nothing.
"Then with Sebastian's retirement it was obviously the biggest advantage we take this weekend."