Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 20 News List

F1: Barrichello voices fears over safety of movable wing

Reuters, LONDON

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello has raised concern about safety at this month’s Monaco Grand Prix now that drivers can use a movable rear wing to help with overtaking.

“I just think it is wrong,” the most experienced driver in Formula One history, who also chairs the Grand Prix Drivers Association, told the autosport.com Web site.

“I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and try to do the tunnel with the DRS [Drag Reduction System or movable rear wing] open,” said the Williams driver, who will be 39 years old on the Monday before the Monaco race. “In my opinion, they are waiting for something bad to happen, and when it happens, they will just say: ‘Oh, next year we will not have it for Monaco.’”

“The drivers have not been listened to right now and I think it is the wrong decision,” Barrichello said.

UNFORGIVING

Monaco, with its tight and twisty circuit around the Mediterranean principality, is a glamorous but unforgiving race where overtaking is extremely difficult and cars skim the steel barriers.

The tunnel section, with a blast into darkness and back to daylight, is the quickest point on the street circuit, but one fraught with danger as tire debris and “marbles” make it perilous to move off the racing line at speed.

Some teams had wanted the DRS system banned for Monaco, but others opposed that because it would mean designing expensive alternative Monaco-only wings.

DANGEROUS WAIT

“I can see a race with safety cars a long way,” Barrichello said. “If they could listen still: I think Monaco is what it is. It is not overtaking territory.”

“Do they think they can introduce overtaking through the DRS? They possibly can, but they might hurt someone. That is a voice from experience,” he said.

Barrichello is the only driver ever to have started more than 300 Formula One races and has competed in 18 Monaco Grand Prix since his debut with Jordan in 1993.

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