Drivers dismiss Bernie’s call for more danger

Date published: October 28 2016

In the wake of Bernie Ecclestone’s call for F1 to up the ante by surrounding the tracks with walls, Nico Rosberg says there are “ten other areas” the sport should rather focus on.

The F1 supremo recently spoke about what he would like to do in Formula 1 to improve the show.

He told Reuters: “In those (the old) days, and it can’t happen again, people would come to a race and think somebody could get killed. Today they know they come to a race and nobody is going to get killed. Which is good.

“I’ve been criticised probably by everybody because I wanted to build 40cm walls around the corners. They keep saying they mustn’t go off the road, I promise they won’t.”

His idea, though, has not gone down well with the drivers.

“My opinion is that there are ten other areas which we should look at before,” said Rosberg.

“If we want to make the sport even better than it is before we start looking at turning back time on safety. That would be my view on that.”

That is a sentiment echoed by Sergio Perez.

The Force India driver said: “I certainly agree with Nico. There are so many more areas where we can improve the sport before starting to put safety at risk.

“I think we can definitely make the circuits a bit more challenging for the drivers, not necessarily with walls but making the driver pay for mistakes if you go off, having a gravel trap and losing time, that kind of thing I think is good for the sport because that forces the drivers not to make any mistakes.”

And while Carlos Sainz agrees that safety is paramount, he also feels the circuits need to be more challenging.

“Obviously safety comes first but also challenges for drivers,” he said.

“I just did a track walk this morning and you know when you see so much tarmac run-off where you can go wide like in Austin, it’s good for safety but I’m convinced we could use some devices to make it a bit more challenging, to make sure you use a bit more of the track. At least you pay something, you don’t gain an advantage.

“At the moment it’s too risky for us to just miss the braking point a bit, nothing happens, continue and you don’t even lock up the tyres. I fully agree on that one with Checo.”