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F1 safety guru: 'Racing still dangerous'

2015-06-23 11:10

DANGER STILL IN F1: Racing great Jackie Stewart believes drivers are taking more risks in F1 these days. Image: AP / Lionel Cironneau

LONDON, England - Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart has warned drivers that the sport is still dangerous.

Have they forgotten Max Verstappen and Jules Bianchi?

Kimi Raikkonen headed into the 2015 Austrian GP arguing that more danger would spice up the sport, only to avoid serious injury when Fernando Alonso's  McLaren sliced across his open cockpit at the start of the race.

In fact, Stewart, now 76, thinks that because there have been no deaths since Ayrton Senna in 1994, drivers are today taking too many risks.

CRASHES IN MOTORSPORT

Stewart told Der Tagesspiegel said: "Yes. The crash Max Verstappen had in Monaco could have been fatal. At the end of May at Monza, in F3, Lance Stroll had a terrible crash and just got out and walked back to the pits.

"His father Lawrence showed me the video in Montreal and I was shocked. Lawrence was also pretty shocked at the realisation of what could happen to his son."

Stewart has for decades been a champion of safety in motor racing but he thinks drivers have become not only complacent but disempowered.

DRIVERS HAVE NO POWER

He said: "Their word has no weight. Back then, we boycotted races and had them thrown off the calendar, so many people in the administration of F1 are afraid of the drivers becoming that powerful again but some drivers believe we no longer have to worry about safety.

"Maybe it's because many are still so young and most of them are not even married."

Stewart said he was even willing to become involved in the GPDA again.

He said: "Of course I would help. I would only need to be asked. Many people say the sport is not the same as it was but the risks are the same. It's sad but it will probably need not one but two deaths for everybody to come to their senses."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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