• Safety

Extra safety leads to 'borderline reckless-driving'

ESPN Staff
October 20, 2013 « Lotus seat 'hot property' - Boullier | Mallya admits to Sauber fears »
'The problem is, the safer the circuit becomes the more ruthless the driving becomes' © Getty Images

Former Formula One driver Anthony Davidson, who survived a massive crash during the Le Mans 24-Hour, said that racing was now so safe that it has created a situation where there is "borderline reckless-driving".

While he believes that safety is vital, he said that it should also be demanding. "I feel a driver should be challenged and should be punished for mistakes," he told the Guardian. "It's what makes people follow the sport in quite a gruesome way. It's the danger, racing drivers should be heroes.

"We don't want to see fans get injured or drivers get injured or killed but the drivers should get punished. On some modern circuits it's pathetic when you see drivers going off the track and nothing happens."

He said that the quest to make the sport safer and safer was actually creating a situation where the risks were rising. "The [circuits] are borderline too safe," he said. "The FIA have done an incredible job …. [it's] amazing when you think of where it used to be in the 60s and the 70s and the cars are going faster now then ever before.

"The problem is, the safer the circuit becomes the more ruthless the driving becomes. So today there is such little respect for each other's safety on the track. They feel like they can bang wheels in a straight line but 'the car is mega-safe - it will take it' is the belief and therefore you get this crazy, almost borderline reckless-driving coming into play.

"There's got to be compromise with safety and I feel it's just going too far at this stage. As a driver you have to live with the fact you might die one day. Otherwise you might as well just play computer games."