Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Australian GP
12 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
44 days
19 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
51 days
02 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
65 days
16 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
79 days
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
93 days
07 May
-
10 May
Next event in
100 days
21 May
-
24 May
Next event in
114 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
128 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
135 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
149 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
156 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
170 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
Next event in
184 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
212 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
219 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
Next event in
233 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
240 days
08 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
254 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
268 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
275 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
289 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
303 days

Button: F1 safety has gone backwards at Baku

shares
comments
Button: F1 safety has gone backwards at Baku
By:
Co-author: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Jun 16, 2016, 2:45 PM

Jenson Button fears that Formula 1 has gone backwards in its quest for ever-improved safety, due to the lack of run-off areas and tricky pitlane entry at the new Baku circuit.

Circuit atmosphere
Jenson Button, McLaren, runs the circuit with Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
Jenson Button, McLaren Honda and Stoffel Vandoorne, third driver, McLaren F1 Team
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber F1 Team
Circuit atmosphere
Track atmosphere
Track atmosphere
The start / finish straight
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 on the grid

The former world champion has spoken out against what he thinks are insufficient safety provisions at the new street track.

"It is like we have gone backwards in certain areas, I don't know why," explained Button. "Maybe the circuit was supposed to be the other way around…

"It is a shame because a lot of the circuit is good. You look at the condition of everything and it looks good.

"I do like the layout, I think it is exciting in some places but there are just some things that look like they need to be addressed.

"I am sure Charlie [Whiting] will say to me why didn't you speak to me first, but I haven't had the chance to do it and I can't see them changing anything anyway."

Mechanical failure

As well as his particular worry about the pitlane entry, Button said that the run-off areas at some sections of the track were not good enough, and that F1 found itself in a situation where it had to hope no driver suffered a car failure.

"What I don't like is a few corners," he said. "We worked so hard on safety, improving circuits all the time, and then we come here and Turn 3, Turn 7 and Turn 14 don't have any run-off at all.

"Turn 7 has got three Tecpro barriers and then a concrete barrier at the edge of the circuit. But there is not much you can really do as there is a building in the way. It is a shame really.

"Hopefully they have done their tests. Monaco has not got a lot of run-off, but this is a high speed street circuit. It is not like Monaco."

When told that other drivers had similar concerns, Button said: "You can't move buildings, that is the problem. It is fine as long as no one has a failure – we go away all happy. We just have to hope it doesn't happen."

When asked if Baku should have had a trial or dummy race beforehand to find out potential trouble spots, Button said: "You shouldn't need a dummy race, you still can't tell unless there is an accident. If you've had the accident there is an issue.

"I think as far as I know they do every test possible for safety and the run off areas that you need for each corner – they have done in the past and hopefully they do still do that.

"But the way we've gone with safety, and pushed it, and some of the issues we have had in the past, you would think they would still do that. But it doesn't look like it from some corners, but maybe I am wrong."

Rosberg agrees

Championship leader Nico Rosberg admitted he was likewise concerned about the safety features of the new venue.

"A little bit of a concern, yes, for sure, with those run-offs - two or three that are really not looking good," he conceded.

"So, that's not great and we need to see how it goes - there's that corner, what is it, 14 or something, before going down the hill, where you've got a wall straight on. [And there's] Turn 3 and then the pit entry as well.

"So that's, yeah... not fantastic."

Rosberg also suggested that the venue in its current form might not be up to the general safety standards set by the FIA.

"I really trust the FIA to get the job done, they have all the calculations and the simulations, they know exactly the speeds and everything - there's given rules that they have to make tracks.

"I hope that they stuck to them - I'm doubting it a little bit because, looking at those corners... but let's see."

Agreeing with concerns that drivers could be pushing too hard to gain time on pit entry, the German also added that it could lead to a serious shunt.

"There's also a massive accident to be had. If you try and get a second, then you can have a big one."

Don’t miss our European GP video preview…

Next article
Gutierrez says outqualifying Grosjean "not enough"

Previous article

Gutierrez says outqualifying Grosjean "not enough"

Next article

Pirelli announces tyre compounds for Malaysia

Pirelli announces tyre compounds for Malaysia
Load comments