Webber 'very lucky' to finish race

Mark Webber was 'very, very lucky' to finish the Singapore Grand Prix on the podium claims Bridgestone, after discovering that his tyre was close to coming off its rim following his collision with Lewis Hamilton

Webber 'very lucky' to finish race

The world championship leader survived a mid-race brush with Hamilton to take a third place that helped extend his lead in the points standings.

But it was only after the race that tyre supplier Bridgestone realised how close Webber had been to suffering a puncture - with his tyre millimetres from slipping off the rim.

Evaluation by Bridgestone showed that the collision with Hamilton had pushed the tyre off its normal mounting on the rim. There was approximately 5mm left between the inner edge of the rim and the tyre - and if it had slipped over that small distance it would almost certainly have resulted in the tyre losing its pressure.

Bridgestone's director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima said it was incredible that Webber's tyre had stayed intact.

"He was very, very lucky. It was just 5mm from slipping off," Hamashima told AUTOSPORT. "If it had slipped off then the pressure would probably have gone down.

"So Mark was lucky there, but also with the track too. If there were very high-speed left hand corners here, then the tyre would have moved a little bit more and then it would have been finished."

When asked if he had seen a tyre stay inflated like that before, Hamashima said: "No. A few times I have seen it for a few laps, but over 25 laps is incredible."

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner admitted that Webber had had some good fortune judging by the post-race inspection of his tyre.

"Mark has ridden his luck because looking at the state of that front right tyre it is pretty much off the rim," he said. "I have never seen anything like it."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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