Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone clarifies statement regarding walls in Formula One

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During the Mexico Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying that he would like to see "artificial walls" erected on the outside of corners to penalise drivers for making mistakes and running wide during turns. 

However, the Formula One chief has gone on to clarify his comments regarding the "walls" to enforce track limits and add to the F1's risk factor. 

Claiming that his statements had been taken out of context, Ecclestone provided an explanation in an interview on the official Formula One website. 


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The former driver explained, as quoted by ESPN: "What I really said was that these walls should prevent the drivers from running off the track.

"Because now when they do, it is a case of somebody has to decide whether they ran off because they had a problem, or because they wanted to get an advantage or they made a mistake. 

"That then means you have to rely on somebody's opinion. If you have three stewards that means usually three opinions. One might call for disqualification, one might call for a penalty and the third one might say that there is nothing wrong with it at all."

The 86-year-old went on to add: "The easiest thing to do for some corners -- and I really mean only some, and corners that are not deemed dangerous, where somebody could get an advantage by running off -- would be to erect small walls to remind them that this is the white line. It would mean we lift the white line up by 40 centimetres."

Much of this discussion emerges from the recent Mexico Grand Prix where Red Bull's Max Verstappen was docked points for cutting across the grass to maintain a lead over fourth placed Sebastian Vettel, whereas Lewis Hamilton was shown the green light for doing something similar during the first lap of the race. 

Ecclestone also said that F1 should include a "showbiz" element in the aftermath of an accident to keep fans guessing and intrigued whether the driver is injured. 

The chief has denied suggestions that he is trying to make the sport more dangerous after pointing to his work done over the years to make F1 safer for drivers.

Commenting on his legacy: "I have done more for Formula One's safety over the years than anybody else, including having a hospital at the circuits, so we don't need these discussions. I have never made it dangerous in Monaco -- and it's been there for decades."

The Monaco Grand Prix is known to be one of the trickiest and dangerous tracks due to it's narrow roads and several sharp turns, whereby the F1 "supremo" bringing it to attention.

However, the track is also considered to be one of the most prestigious in the racing calendar. 

Ecclestone concluded: "Baku was no problem, Singapore no problem. And if you ask a driver what race he would love to win more than any other, the immediate answer would be Monaco!

"There you have it: no driver ever complained about Monaco."

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