Rosberg shaken up by 200mph tyre blowout

Frank Dalleres
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BRITISH driver Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One team-mate Nico Rosberg suffered a major fright during a test session yesterday when his tyre blew at 200mph.

Mercedes abandoned the final day of a three-day session in Bahrain after the incident, which left the German unharmed but shaken.

“Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight because my tyre blew up without warning,” he wrote on Twitter in a post he later deleted. “Thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now...”

The blowout occurred in a test for F1 tyre supplier Pirelli, which had to change its design midway through last season after a spate of problems. Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari had also been taking part in the test.

A spokesperson for Pirelli said: “The test in Bahrain is a private tyre test, so most data generated from it is confidential. However, incidents can happen, this is what testing is for. Our testing programme will continue as planned.”

Pirelli wanted the test in order to analyse its tyres’ performance before the new season starts in March. A shake-up of engine regulations is set to place new demands on tyres, although the teams testing this week have used their 2013 cars.