Davidson: Drivers need to be punished
21 October 2013 – Anthony Davidson believes that Formula 1 should be more demanding of its drivers, claiming the sport has lost its "fear factor" due to constant safety improvements.
The Briton, who raced in the top echelon for Minardi, BAR Honda and Super Aguri, admits that while preventing injuries to fans and drivers should always remain a priority for officials, those behind the wheel need to be punished for their mistakes.
And he feels modern circuits are mostly to blame for this, describing as "pathetic" the way in which an accident can regularly be avoided by taking to vast areas of run-off.
"I feel a driver should be challenged and should be punished for mistakes," Davidson explained during an interview with The Guardian newspaper. "It's what makes people follow the sport in quite a gruesome way – it's the danger, racing drivers should be heroes.
"We don't want to see fans get injured or drivers get injured or killed but the drivers should get punished. On some modern circuits it's pathetic when you see drivers going off the track and nothing happens."
Davidson went on to argue that these circuit changes have also had a negative effect on the quality of racing. He reckons some drivers are now "borderline reckless" because they view their cars, and the tracks they compete on, as completely safe.
"The FIA have done an incredible job," he said, "amazing when you think of where it used to be in the 60s and the 70s, and the cars are going faster now than ever before.
"The problem is, the safer the circuit becomes the more ruthless the driving becomes. Today there is such little respect for each other's safety on the track. They feel like they can bang wheels in a straight line, but 'the car is mega-safe – it will take it' is the belief and therefore you get this crazy, almost borderline reckless driving coming into play."