Sunday, 1 July 2012

Does more safety mean less respect?

It has been said by Sir Stirling Moss that drivers in his day all held tremendous respect for each other.  They knew that a shunt could end with any drivers involved being injured or worse. 

Moss and Fangio give each other full respect while racing wheel to wheel at Monaco in 1955..

As safety in Formula One has improved over the years, it seems the level of respect between drivers has deteriorated. 

Prost and Senna showed little respect for each other when they were ramming into each other to clinch the titles in 1989 and 1990. 

Prost collides with Senna to win the World Championship in 1989.

Senna drove straight into Prost on the starting line to clinch title in 1990.

Only two drivers, Gilles Villeneuve and Riccardo Paletti, had died since 1978 so it could be that they were lulled into a false sense of security regarding safety.    Senna collided with many other drivers during his career and newer drivers such as Schumacher adopted this disrespectful approach. 

Now F1 is safer than ever before, and there seems to be less respect than ever before. 

Racing in the 1950's and 60's was built on a high regard for fellow drivers, providing thrilling wheel to wheel racing.  If there was more respect for each other in the present day, maybe it would give us exciting racing that without leading to a stewards discussion.

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