F1 drivers asks officials to be cautious before making hasty changes following the death of Anthoine Hubert as Sebastian Vettel says he would trade a boring race for drivers’ life.
In the wake of Hubert’s death at Spa-Francorchamps last Saturday and the injury suffered to Juan Manuel Correa, the question regarding the need to bring changes at certain circuits were raised during Monza.
The F1 drivers said that it should be looked at but no hasty decisions should be taken without proper investigation. “I think what happened couldn’t be any worse,” said Vettel, on behalf of the GPDA.
“I think it will be examined in a very detailed way, which is correct and what everyone would expect – but to draw any conclusions now is probably not right. I think we need to have a full picture of a lot of elements.”
In addition to this Sir Jackie Stewart said the Hubert incident served as a wake-up call for current drivers, who perhaps take too much liberties, particularly on the first few laps, with tarmac run-off.
While Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg agreed to a certain extent but the German said, it depends on the situation. For Vettel, on the other hand, he clearly feels that there is a lot still to do on safety aspect.
He is ready to have a boring race in trade for a drivers’ life. “I think, looking back obviously Jackie was racing at a horrible time where drivers passed away, not regularly but obviously a lot more frequently,” he said.
“So, for sure, you cannot compare his era to our era. Obviously, he’s been around at that time, and he’s been racing, so he knows what it felt like and is able to judge whether it’s different or not. I don’t think we can have that judgement.
“But yes, again, as far as I understand it, it was a bit of a chain of happenings, of situations that led into the final accident but we all had our moment on Saturday and obviously Sunday, going to the race track and driving the race but to some extent it’s part of motorsport.
“It is dangerous, it’s part of the thrill – but certainly obviously the last years have been a wake-up with the passing of Jules and now Anthoine. It shows that there are still things – even if people think it’s too safe and boring – I think there are still things we can do better, we must improve, we must work on, because I’d rather have boring F1 championships to the end of ever and bring him back – so I think there’s no question about that trade.”
Hulkenberg added – calling on for a customised solutions for certain sections: “I think obviously some of it is true. Tarmac run-off areas do invite us to keep pushing – because it doesn’t have an immediate consequence. I think it needs to be policed. There is always the right balance somewhere.
“Maybe it’s also a case where we need to have a customised solution for particular corners like Eau Rouge which is quite unique in the way that we don’t really see that corner until we come up on the hill and see what’s going on. But yeah, sometimes things get a bit hectic and out-of-control on lap one.
“I think more particularly – even though that wasn’t lap one it was lap two, but still, early in the race when everyone is very bunched up – sometimes you see that happening more in the junior series. We’ll see. They’re motivated, maybe a bit too excited but yeah, like I say, maybe there’s a solution for every corner a little bit different.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – who lost a close friend – echoed the other driver’s opinion, but added that a racer’s mindset switches from one track to the other quickly as they know the dangers that comes with it.
“On my side, I think I was always aware it was a dangerous sport because any time you go at that speed it will always be dangerous. On the other hand, ever time I’m getting into the car, I’m going with the same mindset.
“I think we are all trying to do that. Even with what happened on Saturday, which was obviously extremely sad, and I think it has shocked all of us. Especially the new generation, we haven’t known that – or actually the generation that is in F1 like Seb, it’s a much safer sport than a long time ago.
“At the end, once you are going into the car, you are trying to be in your zone, trying to think to what you need to do, and you need to race as hard as you can to finish as high as you can. I think I’ve always been aware that there was some risk, but sometimes it’s obviously a shock when something like this happens,” he summed up.
The story was written by Venkatesh P Koushik and edited by Darshan Chokhani