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Kvyat: Safety changes in F1 necessary, not disarming the sport

Aug 10, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat has hit back at comments made by former driver manager Willi Weber saying that F1 drivers are no longer as courageous and risky as they used to be, and has given his support to the changes made to circuits to improve safety standards.

Speaking to Bild earlier this week, Weber said that the sport had lost its edge and no longer had drivers with character. “Who wants to see the wimps of today crying on the radio?” he pondered. “There are no more characters like Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villenueve and Michael Schumacher were.

“They would not complain on the radio but give their answer on the track.”

For some time, many critics have claimed that the sport is becoming too easy for drivers, but Kvyat explained to Omnicorse that he felt this sold the current grid very short.

“Courage is always an important part of motorsport,” the Russian said. “I don’t like it when they say that nowadays the drivers don’t take risks and that we, in comparison with the 80s, are not real men. All these things are bullsh*t.”

Earlier this week, pictures of a newly-asphalted run-off area at Parabolica at Monza were released, causing a backlash as one of the sport’s classic corners became a little less difficult. For Kvyat though, these changes are sensible to improve safety standards.

“When you go to 340 km/h and miss the brakes you end up in the wall, even if there is 100m of asphalt,” he said. “The risk in F1 cannot be erased.

“And if they had kept the run-off areas as gravel we could see drivers getting injured every weekend. So it is right that we do everything we can to improve the safety of the tracks and cars.”

  1. crunge4461 - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    The point that F1 in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s was far more dangerous and that drivers in these days were, because of the inherent danger, a completely different bread than today’s drivers is obvious, that is factual statement. It is not to say that racers today could not race back then, but it is to say that on many levels a current driver can somehow never compare to the legends of the past. There will never be another Senna or Mansell or Lauda, the movie Rush was based on real events, but F1 racing is not like this anymore and there could never be such an inspiring tale told about the sport today.

    What made the legends great was not the amount of wins or podiums, legends were made because of the dangerous obstacles that confronted these drivers around every corner. F1 today has lost this, on many new circuits a significant contact with the barrier is almost impossible…I have always insisted that cars should be made safe, but tracks should remain fast, challenging, and risky.

    • ddmotorsports - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      That actually is not what Weber said at all. That is your interpretation of it. Weber called today’s drivers “wimps”, which is a comment that any driver today would probably take great offense to. He would do well to shut his mouth, and not make comments that don’t need to be made.

      • crunge4461 - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        The entire comment was really not intended to be a paraphrase. My comment was simply building on the general topic of this particular piece.

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