Nico Rosberg admitted he feared for his safety when sparks began firing from his Mercedes during the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday.
The German finished seventh but was competing for a podium place when sparks began dancing from the underside of his Silver Arrow as he overtook team-mate Lewis Hamilton. (Read: Sebastian Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix)
"That was another very tough race for me," said Rosberg. "I couldn't believe what happened with the wing.
"I was on course for a podium finish after overtaking Lewis and two seconds later, the front wing just broke.
"It was pretty scary because that could have been a dangerous situation but the engineers told me over the radio that it was under control and I could carry some speed back to the pits.
"It's a shame because the car felt great today and I found a good balance and how to get the most out of the car, which I hadn't managed until this point of the weekend."
Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, said Rosberg "suffered a structural failure on the front wing assembly which forced him to make an immediate pit stop". (Race in pics)
Hamilton, who qualified in second but eventually finished fifth, was downbeat after struggling in a crucial part of the race with his tyres.
"In my second stint, running the prime tyre, my right front was just destroyed all of a sudden," he said.
"When that happens, you start losing temperature, understeering and locking up under braking, so it was really hard to maintain the pace in those laps."
The Briton added: "It was just not a good race for us today but we have the chance to bounce back (next weekend) in Suzuka."