FIA to clamp down on dangerous ‘taxi rides’ after Webber-Alonso incident
24 September, 2013
The FIA is set to clamp down on the sort of ‘taxi drive’ shenanigans witnessed on the slowing-down lap of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was reprimanded, and Mark Webber pushed ten places down the Korea grid, after the stricken Australian hitched a ride back to the pits on the sidepod of Alonso’s Ferrari.
It triggered great memories of 1991, when legend Ayrton Senna rode on the Williams sidepod of rival Nigel Mansell at Silverstone.
However, publishing video footage of the moment Webber ran across the track to climb onto the Ferrari, after Alonso stopped on the racing line after a blind corner in front of following cars, Blick correspondent Roger Benoit conceded that the pair had been “reckless”.
Referring to Webber’s harsh penalty, Swiss steward Paul Gutjahr insisted: “We could not do otherwise.”
Another Singapore steward, former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick, agreed: “It is not health and safety gone mad.
“I hope we’re not seen as killjoys. I want Formula 1 to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle,” he told the Telegraph. “[But] a driver could easily have been hurt.”
According to the Spanish sports newspaper AS, the FIA could now tighten the rules to make clearer what is expected of the drivers.
It is expected the drivers will be briefed in detail ahead of next weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.
“We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula 1,” Warwick continued. “But we cannot put drivers at risk.
“If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.