Schumacher doubts Le Mans safety

Michael Schumacher is doubtful over the safety measures at the Le Mans 24 hour race, which takes place this weekend, and considers it dangerous. The four time Formula One champion started his career in sports cars and drove the Le Mans in 1991 but...

Michael Schumacher is doubtful over the safety measures at the Le Mans 24 hour race, which takes place this weekend, and considers it dangerous. The four time Formula One champion started his career in sports cars and drove the Le Mans in 1991 but wouldn't consider doing it again unless safety improves.

"The more I think about the safety record there the less happy I am about it. It's dangerous," Schumacher said. "If the safety improves then I could look at Le Mans again but I certainly wouldn't want to do any other 24-hour races."

Former F1 driver and television commentator Mark Blundell will take part in the event which starts this afternoon. He agrees the Le Mans is dangerous but said the danger is part of what makes it such a special event.

"Michael is a great safety campaigner and there is no doubt Le Mans is dangerous," Blundell commented. "But that's all part of the occasion. Seeing the speedo stuck at 200mph while roaring down the Mulsanne Straight is just mind-blowing, a unique feeling. Knowing that one false move or a failure on the car could send you spinning out of control is what sets my heart racing. It's the risk and challenge which draws drivers to it."

In 1999 current Minardi driver Mark Webber partnered DTM driver Peter Dumbreck in the race for Mercedes. Both suffered huge accidents, Dumbreck achieving lift-off and going airborne, which caused Mercedes to withdraw. Blundell admits the risk of taking off if the car isn't right.

"You need to have your car set up perfectly or there is a risk of it taking off if you hit a bump at speed and air gets underneath."

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Le Mans
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Mark Blundell
Teams Mercedes , Minardi