F1 drivers have key role in road safety push, says Slim

Formula 1 drivers have a key role to play in helping push forward the FIA's push for better road safety, says key campaigner Carlos Slim Domit.

FIA president Jean Todt has made no secret of his passion to cut the number of lives lost through road accidents, having been appointed a special UN Envoy on the matter.

Todt's push has received backing from many leading figures around the world – including Mexican businessman Slim, who wants to do more to save lives in his own country.

And on the back of a successful Mexican Grand Prix last weekend, Slim believes that the positive impact that F1 drivers can have should not be under-estimated.

"Road accidents are the leading cause of death for young people in our country," said Slim in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com. "And it is estimated that around 80 per cent of them are avoidable.

"So we are working together with the FIA and we have 15 companies supporting us – they are insurance companies, the Red Cross, national universities and the healthy ministry. And we are working on a programme that increase awareness.

"But we also want to having racing involved in that."

On the limit

As well as the obvious benefits of having household names backing such a campaign to raise its profile, Slim thinks racing drivers can bring extra help because of their talent.

"Drivers are the only celebrities that drive at limits that no one else in society knows," he said. "They know the limits of the cars and of the streets like no one else does.

"But they also respect the rules – because they are not just playing with a car, they are playing with their lives. So the commitment to respect the rules for a race car driver is essential.

"On the other side, racing is also a laboratory that ends up giving a lot of benefits to society. Just think about traction control, anti-lock brakes, better efficiency in the combustion engines, and improved materials for brakes and tyres.

"The number of things that the racing community brings to society is a lot, and combining everything is the reason why the FIA should be so involved in road safety."

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news