Formula One drivers voice fears over test circuit safety to FIA
Tuesday 02 August 2005
One of the drivers' major concerns is the standard of safety at some circuits during test sessions, as opposed to races. This is hardly a new problem: the former champion Alain Prost voiced similar worries in 1988, that teams and drivers spent their time calling for improvements at race tracks that hosted world championship grands prix and then went testing with minimal back-up at obscure circuits around the globe which did not meet safety standards. The drivers were particularly concerned after a 200mph accident which befell the McLaren test driver Alex Wurz at Paul Ricard, near Marseilles, in May.
"I have seen footage of that accident and an emergency vehicle was with the car virtually as it came to rest," an FIA spokesman said yesterday. "But at other places the standards are not always the same."
Mosley said: "The meeting was very constructive and we discussed a wide range of topics including safety in testing, the regulations for 2008, super licences, overtaking and qualifying." He will now speak with the teams, who would have to bear the cost of any safety enhancements.
The drivers also want to alleviate the problem whereby misfortunes in one race affect their qualifying starting slot for the next. In Hungary, however, Britain's Jenson Button and the race winner Kimi Raikkonen said they were in favour of the much-criticised single-lap qualifying system.
"I prefer one lap, for me it is a lot more exciting," Button said. "I think only getting one chance is good. For the viewers, when we had four qualifying runs or 12 laps, maybe it is a bit more exciting to watch but it was so frustrating for the drivers to get a good lap in. One-lap qualifying is good and you also get to see everyone's laps, which is interesting."
Raikkonen said: "I think the one-lap is good, but I would also prefer it on low fuel because it is more fun for the drivers."
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