29 August 2021

Daniel Ricciardo insists danger remains but F1 is not worth ‘life or death’

29 August 2021

Daniel Ricciardo insists Formula One remains a dangerous sport despite the abandonment of Sunday’s rain-hit Belgian Grand Prix.

Just two laps were completed behind a safety car with the conditions deemed unsafe.

Spa-Francorchamps is considered to be one of the most treacherous tracks on the F1 calendar, with 23 drivers killed here.

Two years ago, French Formula Two driver Anthoine Hubert lost his life after a multi-car collision. On Saturday, Ricciardo’s McLaren team-mate Lando Norris was hospitalised after he crashed at 185mph in the wet.

Conditions were treacherous throughout race day in Belgium (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys) (AP)

“There is a change in mind-sets to it all,” said Ricciardo, a seven-time grand prix winner.

“I wasn’t around in the era when it was kind of normal to have fatalities in the sport.

“I am sure it was hard to accept but because it was more regular it was kind of expected. And knowing what I know now would I have raced in the 60s? No. It is a sport.

“We like the risk but if you are talking about a matter of life or death, it is not worth that.

“We are still competing in a dangerous sport and playing on the edge of danger, but there is danger and being unsafe, and there is the extreme of having people unnecessarily helicoptered out of here.”

Addressing accusations that the considered 20 best drivers in the world should have been able to race on Sunday, Ricciardo replied: “The most simple response, and I am not trying to sound smart, is that it is just physics, simple physics that the car will not stay on the road.

“Could we go slower? I guess. But then the issue is because we are slow you will have some drivers who do something out of the physical realms of the car and you are going to have a bigger incident because of closing speeds. In a way, that causes more problems.”

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