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OCTOBER 10, 2000

Gascoyne calls for electronic aids in F1

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Mike Gascoyne has called for electronic aids to be permitted in Formula One after he claimed it would increase competition in the sport.

Gascoyne, who was released from his contract with Jordan last week and freed to join Benetton, insisted that aids such as traction control would help boost competition in the sport and said that it would not prevent the best driver from winning.

"Whether motor racing is better without electronic aids is debatable," Gascoyne said. "Even with them there it is still so much for the driver to do.

"Some of the best laps ever performed in the sport were by Ayrton Senna at Donington Park in 1993 when he went past five cars on one straight. Those laps were done with traction control on the car.

"We are not allowed to use some of the most simple things. Ordinary saloon cars have ABS on them and yet we are not allowed to use it on Formula One cars."

Austrian Alexander Wurz, who will join McLaren as a test driver next season after losing his seat to Jenson Button at Benetton, said that electronic aids would bring competitors closer together but backed Gascoyne in his belief that the best drivers would still come out on top.

"I don't think it is a matter of concern," Wurz said. "Driving is always difficult but the drivers are in control.

"Electronic aids would bring the competition closer together but as is the case now, the better driver will win."