Tony Kanaan, the former teammate and longtime friend of Dan Wheldon who was killed in the IZOD IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas, says the day he believes the sport is too dangerous is the day he will retire from racing.
Kanaan was leading Sunday's tragic race, which was red-flagged and not restarted following the multi-car crash on lap 11 that claimed Wheldon's life.
Speaking on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday, Kanaan was asked for his opinion of safety standards in IndyCar racing, and if he might reconsider his future as a driver after seeing the aftermath of the fatal crash.
"To me, the day that I start thinking this is too dangerous, it's the day it's time to stop," said Kanaan, who drives for KV Racing. "I lost one of my best friends. I know it's going to be very hard to forget, I don't think I ever will. It's really hard to swallow and I'll remember him every time. But, as a racecar driver, it's one of the things you have to have.
"If it ever crossed my mind that it was too dangerous, I should go and do something else. Now I think if Dan Wheldon was here, and I announced I was going to retire, he'd be the first guy to call my team owner to take my place. I will try to honor him as best I can on the racetrack.
"As far as safety [is concerned], I think we're getting better every time. I think that track was well equipped, the cars as well. Racing is dangerous. It's been like that for 100 years."
Kanaan said the aftermath of the accident was the worst he had seen in his entire racing career.
"When I went through the wreck, probably 30 seconds after it happened, I realized it was a mess. It looked like it was a war," he said. "Pieces of cars on fire, cars flipped – in 27 years of racing I have never seen such a big mess like that. I had to hold myself [together] at that point.
"It's part of our job, we get exposed to those type of things every weekend. It's part of racing, but it's never nice to see something like that."