Skip to main content

Feeling unsafe? 'Don't drive' says world champion Vettel

July 5, 2013 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
Sebastian Vettel was forced to withdraw from last weekend's British GP due to gearbox problems.
Sebastian Vettel was forced to withdraw from last weekend's British GP due to gearbox problems.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel tells drivers who feel unsafe not to drive in F1 cars
  • F1 drivers have threatened to boycott German GP in a row over tires
  • Five drivers experienced tire blowouts at British Grand Prix
  • Red Bull's Vettel currently leads the 2013 world championship

(CNN) -- Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel has told Formula One drivers who feel unsafe behind the wheel to stay out of the cockpit as the Red Bull driver weighed in on the ongoing tire row.

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) issued a statement Thursday to "express their deepest concerns" after five drivers at last weekend's Brtiish Grand Prix, including Mercedes' race leader Lewis Hamilton, experienced high-speed tire blowouts.

Read: F1 drivers threaten German GP boycott

The GPDA has threatened to boycott Sunday's German Grand Prix should a repeat of last weekend's Silverstone race occur, with tire supplier Pirelli responding by modifying its tires with a Kevlar strip to prevent punctures.

CNN's F1 Interactive: German Grand Prix

Germany's Vettel, a world champion in each of the last three years, says it is up to each driver to decide whether they feel comfortable in the cockpit.

Pirelli tires: Ready to roll
Designing Formula One tires
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

"At the end of the day it is an individual decision for each driver about whether you think that it is safe or not," the 26-year-old told Formula One's official website.

"If you feel that the risk is too high, then you should not get into the car. For sure I think that no one could have predicted the Silverstone race to develop like it did, so there is nobody to blame for that.

Read: Pirelli come out fighting in tire row

"The good thing from it was that right after the Silverstone race many people sat together and were looking for a constructive solution, and we arrived here in Germany with a different set of rear tires.

"It was a positive surprise to see that given that small window of time, Pirelli was able to bring a different component, and now we have to see if it works.

"So I think it is very positive that they took the criticism seriously and just decided to make some changes."

Sunday's race represents a home grand prix for Vettel, who celebrated his 26th birthday earlier this week.

"Seeing all the fans that support us German drivers gives me a great feeling," added Vettel, who leads the 2013 drivers' standings by 21 points from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

"It is a true privilege to have a home grand prix at all.

"I can still remember coming here and seeing all the Michael Schumacher fans at a time when I wasn't even dreaming of being in Formula One."

"We are very confident that we could win here, but we shall not underestimate our competitors.

"We are not putting ourselves under too much pressure though, as there is no way of forcing a win here or indeed anywhere else."

Elsewhere in motorsport, it was announced that Argentina will host a round of the MotoGP world championships for the first time since 1999.

The South American country will host elite motorcycling racing at the newly-built Termas de Rio Honda circuit on a three-year deal starting from next season.

"It is a great honor to receive this championship in Argentina in addition to other sporting events that take place in our country such as the Dakar Rally," Argentine National Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer told MotoGP's official website.

"We hope that the Argentine public can enjoy the top class of motorcycle racing, which hasn't come to our country since 1999, and we will do our best to make sure MotoGP stays in our country for a long time."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
ADVERTISEMENT