Irvine criticises Silverstone

Motor Racing
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The Independent Online
Motor Racing

Eddie Irvine, the Jordan Formula One driver, has attacked the pounds 2.5m redesign of the Silverstone circuit, where the British Grand Prix will be held in two weeks' time.

"It's just atrocious," he said. "It doesn't flow. I don't think there is one decent corner in the whole circuit," the Irishman said. "There is so much room that they could have made a good circuit. The old circuit was just fantastic."

Irvine cited Magny-Cours, which hosts this Sunday's French Grand Prix, as being the ideal circuit. "That is probably my favourite," he said. "You have that long, fast corner after the pit straight which is fun, and it has very fast, very difficult chicanes."

The sport's ruling body, the FIA, is cracking down on Formula One organisers who allow spectators to invade circuits following trouble at the Canadian and San Marino grands prix. Fans of Frenchman Jean Alesi swarmed onto Montreal's Gilles-Villeneuve circuit on 11 June to celebrate the Ferrari driver's first victory in 91 starts. There had already been trouble at Imola in May as Italian fans celebrated Ferrari's second and third places on home soil.

The FIA issued a statement, warning that "any further track invasions . . . will be regarded with the utmost gravity and may result in serious penalties."

The FIA also announced it would amend records of the Montreal race, which finished after 69 laps.

"Members of the public ran on to the track and prevented most of the field from racing during the final lap." The race therefore will be deemed to have finished at the end of lap 68.

FIA gave the green light for the Italian Grand Prix on 10 September at Monza, pending the completion of work on the circuit to bring it into line with new safety standards.