I was so lucky to escape unhurt, admits Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg has said only luck prevented him from crashing into the wall after he suffered a spectacular 200mph tyre blowout in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old German was approaching Blanchimont when he suffered a right-rear tyre failure on his Mercedes.
Rosberg was a helpless passenger as his car was sent into a high-speed slide following the tyre explosion, but mercifully he avoided a heavy impact with the wall.
"It was quite a shock because I didn't expect it," said Rosberg, whose wife Vivian is due to give birth to their first child next week.
"It was not a nice experience at nearly 200mph to suddenly lose control. Something failed on the right rear.
"Unfortunately it wasn't down to my skill, it was just luck that I stayed away from the wall. Of course it is a little bit of a dent in the confidence. I didn't feel anything before - there was no warning at all - so there is going to be a big analysis."
Rosberg refused to speculate on the cause of the failure while Pirelli - the sport's sole tyre supplier - vowed to carry out a full investigation.
Rosberg set the pace in both practice sessions at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and his fastest lap of one minute 49.385 seconds was three 10ths quicker than Lewis Hamilton, who leads Rosberg by 21 points in the standings.
Hamilton said: "Nico is very quick so I have work to do to see where I can find some time.
"Ferrari and Red Bull also look closer here than they have at past weekends, so it'll be a close run thing.
"What happened towards the end with Nico obviously wasn't good but luckily he's unhurt."