Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 8, 2001

FIA is doing all they can, says Herbert

ARROWS new test-driver and veteran Formula One racer Johnny Herbert has supported the sport's governing body the FIA as the safety of Grand Prix racing has come under scrutiny this week.

Briton Herbert, who raced for 12 seasons in Formula One before joining Arrows last month, stood up for the FIA and said they are always striving to improve safety.

The FIA have come under pressure to increase safety after the recent death of marshal Graham Beveridge at the Australian Grand Prix increased concerns about the deformable principle of Formula One car design, over which the FIA regulates.

The cars are designed to disintegrate and cushion the impact of a crash on the driver, but this leads to the dangerous debris, particularly ripped-off wheels, which has claimed the life of two marshals in the last five races.

The FIA regulations demand the use of wheel tethers, which are designed to tie the wheels to the car in the event of a crash. However, the tethers have regularly failed in big accidents.

Herbert defended the wheel tethers on BBC sports program On Side by saying: "They take a massive loading, but I think when we have an accident of that magnitude it just rips them off.

"It's very, very difficult sometimes to stop these objects from doing the damage that they do. But the FIA do try very hard to restrict these things from departing from the car."