Ferrari number one driver Fernando Alonso has admitted that the sport does scare him 'sometimes'.
Alonso is currently regarded as one of top drivers in F1, along with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, but despite that and despite his undoubted skills behind the wheel, the two-time F1 world champion is more than aware of the risks, although thankfully there hasn't been a driver fatality in F1 since that dark May weekend at Imola back in 1994, when Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger were both killed.
“Yes I've been scared [in an F1 car], sometimes,” Alonso said in a recent interview with German broadcaster RTL
“Definitely races in the wet when you lose all visibility. It's a critical moment. And then at times like we have seen recently with the tyres that did not hold, you get a respect for the speed and a sense of danger.”
Tyre failures dominated the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and Alonso added that when they do 'go' there is often little a driver can do: “When a tyre explodes the first thing you feel is that the steering wheel starts to vibrate and at the back the car begins to vibrate and you feel the rear of the car is very light and you have to apply opposite lock,” he explained. “That's what I have felt and I could see from what the others experienced all the blow-ups were very similar.
“If it happened halfway through a fast corner, I think it would be impossible to control because you don't have the time to react, as was the case unfortunately with [my team-mate] Felipe [Massa]: it happened halfway through a corner and he lost control. If it happens on the straight, then you have a slight chance of catching the car. Certainly, it's a shock, a moment that is completely unexpected and you are never ready to control it...”
Despite his fears however, Alonso is clearly a speed junkie, and he reveals as much when asked what speed means to him: “Everything,” he replied. “Without speed it would be hard to understand a single day. I like speed, I like doing everything in a hurry.”
As for his season so far, despite losing ground to Sebastian Vettel in the title race following last weekend's German Grand Prix - he now trails the Red Bull man by 34 points - Alonso remains positive.
“I see it [this year] looking good and I think we can give it an 8, a good score. We are definitely not the quickest car, however, it is a very complete car, so I am pleased with it I would say.
"As for myself, it's not for me to give a number. I've definitely improved a lot since the early years, let's say we are more complete, but there is always room for improvement race by race with experience, with everything,” he concluded.