Skip to main content

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

updated 8:52 AM EDT, Fri July 5, 2013
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.
  • 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."

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.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
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.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
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.