REFLECTING: Nico Rosberg says he's lucky to be unhurt from Friday's tyre blowout before the birth of his baby. Image: AP / Ronald Zak
SPA, Belgium - Nico Rosberg had every reason to stop and consider his mortality on Friday (August 21) after escaping unhurt from a spectacular high-speed tyre failure during second practice at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.
At 30, and married for a year, he will surely have thought of his wife Vivian who is expecting their first child at any time.
He has a private plane on stand-by at Liege airport in case she goes into labour and he is needed - and the Mercedes team allow him to make a flying visit home to Monaco.
And he has just spent the last four weeks during Formula 1's annual mid-season break staying home to prepare for life as a family man.
BABY SEAT BATTLE
"Things are great, she's feeling very, very comfortable, which is nice," said Rosberg before Friday's accident. "Doctors say the due date is next week, so let's see."
He showed easy enthusiasm for life as a father when he was asked how he enjoyed his holidays.
"In the last period, before giving birth, you can't go very far, so it was pretty much all at home. Everything's packed, the car engine was running in the garage. I've prepared for all that, so we just have family cars at the moment in the garage.
"We have a Mercedes ML, and a Mercedes GLK. The baby seat is in the ML, and it took me two hours to put it in there. It's one of my toughest recent experiences."
Rosberg admitted he was lucky to escape unhurt when the right rear tyre of his Mercedes car began to delaminate before exploding at Blanchimont at around 320km/h on Friday.
"That was not a nice experience," said Rosberg, keeping his trademark cool despite the accident. "A 360 degree spin at 320 km/h is not something you expect at all.
"Luckily, I did not hit the wall. Unfortunately, it wasn't down to my skill. It was just luck that I stayed out of the wall. I didn't feel anything before, there was no warning. There will be a big analysis. I was feeling quick before then, comfortable."
He admitted, also, that it was an accident that would affect him.
"It hurts your confidence for sure, so that is not good for me," he said.
Pirelli reacted to the accident by stating that they examine the failed tyre to find the cause of the failure.
Rosberg said he had no idea what had happened.
"We don't know yet," he said. "It doesn't make sense to speculate about it. It was quite a shock in the first moment because you don't expect it."
His form, when he climbs back into his car on Saturday, may determine if he can mount a bid to stop his Mercedes team-mate defending two-time champion Lewis Hamilton from running away to claim a third title.
He leads by 21 points with nine races remaining.
"'Keep pushing, the way I have, and it just needs to be slightly the other way and that's it'," Rosberg said on Thursday, reflecting on his prospects.
"There were times in the last race in Hungary when I was actually leading the championship," he added. "It was very close in the first half of the season and in sport it can go either way.
"I just need to keep on going like this, keep pushing and winning races and then I believe I can make it happen."
Hamilton was second quickest on Friday in both sessions behind Rosberg, but has out-qualified his team mate 9-1 in the 10 races to date and has five wins to Rosberg's three.