Honda website
Honda website

MARCH 15, 2001

Coulthard concerned about "kneejerk" reaction

DAVID COULTHARD has voiced concerns that a "knee-jerk" reaction to the death of marshal Graham Beveridge at the Australian Grand Prix would not be good for the sport.

The McLaren man is worried that people are becoming too concerned over the increased speeds in Formula One this year, and believes the FIA must not instigate big rule changes before ensuring they are needed.

"If there hadn't been a fatality at the last race we wouldn't have been having this conversation over the last couple of weeks," said Coulthard.

"We were enjoying driving the car and it was just tragic circumstances that led to the spotlight being put back on the cars."

Coulthard said that reductions in speed would not have made a difference in the accident, but is concerned that the regulation changes have actually increased the potential for such incidents.

"Even if you took 10 miles-an-hour off the top speed then would that particular incident have been any different?" asked Coulthard.

"You could maybe do projections of where the car would fly but it would probably roughly end up in the same place.

"Every time you've made the cars narrower and reduced the available downforce," he continued, "you've made the cars quicker in a straight line so you potentially arrive at the scene of an accident at a higher speed."

Coulthard replaced Ayrton Senna at Williams after the Brazilian's death in 1994, and he has asked the FIA to ensure reactions to the recent accident do not follow a similar path to those in that year.

"We had so many regulations during the course of [1994] that were then taken away because they didn't actually achieve what was necessary," he recalled.

"I think we need to get into the season and see how we're all enjoying it and how safe it is, then start looking at issues rather than the usual kneejerk that we've seen over previous years."