Ralf considers safety issues

Ralf considers safety issues

Ralf Schumacher made his return to the Williams cockpit at the Chinese Grand Prix after a six-race absence, due to recovering from a back injury. Schumacher crashed out of the US GP and suffered cracked vertebrae that put him out of action. He was...

Ralf Schumacher made his return to the Williams cockpit at the Chinese Grand Prix after a six-race absence, due to recovering from a back injury. Schumacher crashed out of the US GP and suffered cracked vertebrae that put him out of action. He was fit and well to race at Shanghai, and indeed the remaining two races of the season, but he is keeping a cautious eye on safety measures.

Ralf Schumacher.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

"In my first Formula One season, back in 1997, we set the same lap times on a dry track we are nowadays achieving in the wet," said Schumacher, according to his team website.

"Then, we lapped Silverstone in 1:26 minutes, today we cross the British circuit's line in 1:17 minutes. From my point of view, Max Mosley hits the spot when trying to hamper the engineers' job. But the pace is only one issue."

"Let's be realistic: even if the lap times should be reduced by one second for the 2005 season, an accident could still have fatal consequences. It's just as important to design the helmets and the cockpits even stronger than they are now and to increase the cars' front and rear crush zones."

Schumacher is not worried about voicing his opinion even if many would not agree -- he is critical of Monte Carlo's street circuit, which is one of F1's most popular events. "I say what I think, even if I'm criticised for doing so," he stated.

"Let's talk about Monaco: although I made it to pole position in last year's Monaco Grand Prix, I am of the opinion that this is an outdated event. I have to ask: Why do we have to take the risk to chase through a tunnel at 290kph? I'm not too fond of circuits where an accident could have such serious consequences."

The FIA is aiming to bring in regulation changes over the next few years to slow the cars down, which include restrictions to engines, aerodynamics and tyres.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher
Teams Williams