Stewart warns that motorsport is still risky and dangerous
Formula 1’s safety pioneer Sir Jackie Stewart has warned drivers that the sport is still dangerous and warns that complacency may be creeping in to the issue of safety.
Kimi Raikkonen headed into the Austrian grand prix arguing that more danger would spice up the sport, only to narrowly avoid serious injury when Fernando Alonso’s McLaren sliced across his open cockpit at the start of the race.
In fact, F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart thinks that because there have been no deaths since Ayrton Senna in 1994, drivers are today taking too many risks.
“Yes,” the triple world champion told Der Tagesspiegel. “The accident Max Verstappen had in Monaco could have been fatal. And at the end of May at Monza in F3, Lance Stroll had a terrible accident and just got out and walked back to the pits.””
“His father Lawrence showed me the video in Montreal and I was shocked,” said Stewart. “And he (Lawrence) was also pretty shocked at the realisation of what could happen to his son.”
For decades, Stewart has been a champion of safety in motor racing, but he thinks the drivers have become not only complacent, but disempowered.
“Their word has no weight,” he said. “Back then, we boycotted races and had them thrown off the calendar, so many people in the administration of Formula 1 are afraid of the drivers becoming that powerful again.
“But some drivers believe that we no longer have to worry about safety. Maybe it’s because many are still so young, and most of them are not even married,” added Stewart.
76-year-old Stewart said he is even willing to become involved in the GPDA again, “Of course I would help. I would only need to be asked.”
“Many people say the sport is not the same as it was, but the risks are the same. It’s sad, but it will probably need not one but two deaths for everyone to come to their senses,” warned Stewart.