Two-time Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi thinks that the poor driving standards seen in European Formula 3 this season originate from habits picked up by drivers in go-karting.
The 2015 F3 season, which has Fittipaldi's grandson Pietro among its regular drivers, was rocked by two controversial, crash-filled rounds at Monza and Spa, with several cars going airborne and race bans handed out.
Of this year's field, Red Bull junior Callum Ilott and Alessio Lorandi have graduated directly from karting, while several others have only one year of prior experience in cars, and Fittipaldi believes a lack of "reference of safety and respect" in karts is partly to blame for the spate of spectacular incidents.
“I think [the young drivers] try to drive a formula car with the same behaviour as a go-kart,” the Brazilian said at the FIA Sport Conference.
“And we need to be much stronger with the race directors on the debriefing before the race, even starting from go-karts, to create respect.”
“I was at Monza and some of the teenagers [in F3] are very talented, but they come from go-kart racing and they are driving at Monza at 280 kph.
Fittipaldi highlighted in particular the differing nature of racing in karting and single-seaters, saying those making the step up directly must "respect" the need to adapt their styles accordingly.
“A formula car is much heavier than a go-kart and it takes a longer time to move it," he added. "You need more space; there is a different dynamic.
"And this transition, [the drivers] have to understand and respect."