Lewis Hamilton calls for change after tyre failure denies him victory of the British GP
Lewis loses lead of the race due to a puncture before rescuing fourth
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 01/07/13 10:46am
A frustrated Lewis Hamilton has called for changes to the Pirelli compounds after being denied victory of the British GP due to a high-speed tyre blow-out during Sunday's race.
Having started out from pole position, Hamilton had opened up an impressive two-second lead over Sebastian Vettel and appeared to be on course for a comfortable victory in front of his home support before becoming the first of four drivers to suffer a tyre failure on day of acute concern for F1 and the sport's sole tyre manufacturer.
The puncture saw Hamilton fall from first to last before a late charge secured fourth position - but the latest chapter in F1's ongoing tyre predicament was understandably uppermost in the Mercedes driver's thoughts afterwards.
"Yeah, big time - they need to do something," the 28-year-old admitted to Sky Sports F1 when asked if the tyre failures - which saw huge chunks of debris strewn across the circuit - were a concern to the drivers.
"It was really unfortunate, we were looking like we were going for a win. The car felt great and I had no problems at all and then it blew up."
Speaking to reporters later, Hamilton added: "What happened is just unacceptable.
"Safety is the biggest issue. Someone could've crashed. Behind the safety car I was thinking it was only when someone gets hurt that something will be done about it."
The 2008 World Champion also admitted that it was the first time he had ever been conscious of danger while driving in F1.
"I felt today after my incident that you never know when your tyres are going to go. That's the first time in my career I've felt the danger," he added.
"You are just trying to drive and do your best to look after the tyres. But I don't think it's about looking after the tyres. It's a much bigger problem. The car becomes very loose and out of control. You have to fight to keep it in a straight line. You become a passenger when the tyre goes."
Yet the day was not without consolation for Hamilton as he trimmed his World Championship deficit to Vettel following the Red Bull driver's retirement and team-mate Nico Rosberg delivered victory for his Mercedes outfit.
"A big congratulations to Nico and the team. The car was great and I'm just glad I was able to catch up and grab some points," said Hamilton.
"When I was back in twenty-first I was thinking I wouldn't be scoring any points and I'm grateful to come up as far as I did."
Courtesy of his fourth-place finish and the gearbox malfunction on Vettel's Red Bull, Hamilton now resides 43 points behind Vettel in the World Championship standings.