Nick Heidfeld confessed that his fiery escape in the Hungarian Grand Prix was much scarier than the similar incident he suffered in Spain earlier this year.
The Renault driver's car erupted in flames shortly after his second pitstop, which was longer than usual due to a wheelnut problem. The team believes its forward facing exhausts overheated while it was stationary, which in turn set the bodywork on fire.
Heidfeld exited the pits, hoping that getting up to racing speed would put the fire out, but it simply exacerbated the situation - with the side of the car igniting. He quickly pulled off the track before jumping out the car. As marshals attended the blaze, the car's sidepod exploded, spreading debris over the side of the track.
Although uninjured in the incident, Heidfeld admitted that it was much worse than his fire during free practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.
"It was a lot more scary," Heidfeld said. "At Barcelona I looked left, saw a small fire and had time to stop. This one, I looked straight, saw the fire and it got hot. I really felt the temperature. It was a bit scary, much more than Barcelona."
Heidfeld said that the team was still investigating why the exhausts ignited the bodywork, because the stop had not been dramatically long.
"They are still looking into it. The stop was a bit longer, so that might be one of the reasons, but it is not like the stop was very long... it was not that I was stationary for 20 seconds or something. We are still investigating."