‘How far should the drivers be allowed to go?’

Michelle Foster

'How far should the drivers be allowed to go?'

With Sebastian Vettel’s penalty still the hot topic in F1, Toto Wolff says the sport needs to introduce rules that allow hard racing but “without compromising on safety”.

Last time out in Canada, Vettel was handed a five-second time penalty for an “unsafe” return onto the track.

The German cut the grass at Turns 3/4 while trying to keep Lewis Hamilton at bay as they fought for the victory.

However, when he returned to the track, Vettel was still trying to regain control of his Ferrari and cut off Hamilton, forcing the Mercedes driver towards the wall.

The penalty cost Vettel the win.

But while Wolff has made it clear that he agrees with the stewards’ decision, he feels F1 needs to move allow hard racing, but must do so without compromising safety.

He told SpeedWeek: “The stewards decided was in accordance with the regulations but on the whole I’m not happy with rules that prevent hard racing.

“However, if we want different decisions from the stewards, then we need different rules.

“We have to make sure that the rules from 2021 allow hard racing.

“I’d like to discuss this with the FIA, the teams and F1’s rights holders but without compromising on safety.

“My understanding is that the fans should experience the racers as gladiators in their high-tech machines. I want to see tough wheel-to-wheel fighting out there.

“The tricky thing is to draw the line between hard racing within the scope of what is permissible and bouncing to bumper cars level.

“Therefore we need an in-depth discussion about the question: how far should the drivers be allowed to go?”

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