| LONDON, Sept 12
LONDON, Sept 12 Formula One's governing body
needs to crack down on dangerous behaviour in feeder series like
GP2 to improve safety standards in grands prix, according to
Austrian Alexander Wurz.
A lively debate has been going on in Formula One since
inexperienced French driver Romain Grosjean was banned for last
weekend's Italian Grand Prix for causing a pile-up in Belgium
the previous Sunday.
Grosjean will be back for Singapore next week and his Lotus
team say he has learned a lesson from spending time watching and
listening in the garages at Monza while Belgian Jerome
d'Ambrosio drove his car.
The Spa accident saw Grosjean's car lift up over the front
of the Ferrari of championship leader Fernando Alonso, narrowly
missing his head, in a collision as the field funnelled into the
Wurz, lucky to have escaped injury in a similar incident in
Australia in 2007 when David Coulthard's Red Bull flew over his
Williams, said drivers coming into Formula One needed more
awareness instilled in them in the feeder series.
"Things like the start collision with Romain can and will
always happen," the Austrian, who retired from F1 in 2007 and
has a road safety training business as well as acting as a
driver mentor for Williams, told Reuters.
"But especially looking at GP2 races, which is the feeder
series, the driver standards there are appalling - bad, very bad
- and they are coming in to F1.
"It's something we clearly must work on that the feeder
series are very strict and of the same standard as F1. And we
have to achieve this and address it very quickly."
Wurz suggested this would involve the governing
International Automobile Federation (FIA) making sure rules and
penalties were applied with the same rigour as in F1 by stewards
and the race director.
Australian Mark Webber agreed that the newcomers, including
Williams' Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who has had a string of
penalties in F1 this season, needed to be educated about the
dangers and to take responsibility.
Grosjean and Maldonado are both ex-GP2 champions and
recognised as quick but also very aggressive.
Formula One has not had a driver fatality in a race since
Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna died at Imola in 1994.
Michael Schumacher, 43 and driving for Mercedes after his glory
years at Ferrari, is now the only driver still on the starting
grid to have taken part in that fatal grand prix weekend.
A new 'Playstation' generation has arrived that is used to
seeing racers walk away or escape unhurt from massive smashes.
"In the last 10 years, the level of aggressiveness has
ramped up a bit just because guys know that usually they'll be
able to walk away from a crash," Webber, 36, wrote in a BBC
column on Wednesday.
"But you can be aggressive and safe or aggressive and
unsafe. I've always said F1 is not a finishing school when it
comes to racing."
Webber pointed out that the nature of racing this year, with
the Pirelli tyres and DRS rear wing system making it easier to
overtake, meant drivers did not have to be so 'desperate' at the
"You do need to get involved but some guys are having more
incidents than the others and they need to take that on board,"
said the Red Bull driver. "We should be the best at what we do,
racing in all conditions on all kinds of tracks, and driver
etiquette has to match that."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)