Ralf Schumacher hits out at Villeneuve over safety

Ralf Schumacher has criticised Jacques Villeneuve's attitude to crashing, as he feels that it promotes risk taking among the whole field. BMW-Williams team driver Ralf Schumacher has launched an attack on what he sees as an irresponsible regard...

Ralf Schumacher has criticised Jacques Villeneuve's attitude to crashing, as he feels that it promotes risk taking among the whole field.

BMW-Williams team driver Ralf Schumacher has launched an attack on what he sees as an irresponsible regard for Formula 1 safety from BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve and believes his attitude puts other drivers around him at risk.

"The trouble with Jacques is that the bigger a crash is the more he likes it," the German told this week's Autosport magazine. "The most appropriate contribution for any driver is to drive more carefully - and obviously brake earlier and use your brain."

Villeneuve is noted for his undaunted and bold attitude to racing. At the season opener in Australia in March this year, Villeneuve took off over the back of the German's Williams, which tragically led to the death of a marshall who was hit by the flying debris.

At this year's Italian Grand Prix the French-Canadian was one of the few drivers who refused to take it easy at the first two chicanes arguing that it was his job to race and that the fans had come to see as much.

"At the Italian Grand Prix, we all tried to do something to avoid a problem," said Schumacher. "But then Jacques wouldn't go along with it. I think drivers have to change their way of thinking and driving sometimes and then we would have less accidents."

Villeneuve has hit back at criticism that he was the sole driver to prevent the ban by saying he was overtaken at the start, as he took it easy following that morning's GPDA meeting.

Ralf Schumacher has become a key figure in safety rows over the course of the season, and in particular the mind-set that is developing among drivers as safety features on cars improve.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve
Teams Williams