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.
"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".
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."