Two former grand prix winners are leading the criticism of F1’s new tendency to start any wet race behind the safety car.
The issue has arisen after the British grand prix, where spectators last Sunday were deprived of a normal start from the grid following a pre-race rain shower.
“If it suddenly rains on the highway, a normal driver doesn’t stop driving,” former Ferrari and McLaren driver Gerhard Berger told Auto Bild.
“He simply adapts to the situation.”
However, whilst arguing that the Silverstone safety car period went on for too long, many drivers actually back F1’s new approach to wet races.
“What do you expect?” 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve said.
“Most of them are still babies. If we want to excite the fans of tomorrow, we need heroes. Idols they can look up to and want to copy.
“But what they see today are drivers who earn millions but are cowards hiding behind a safety car. What makes a grand prix driver so special is no longer coming through,” Villeneuve added.
The French Canadian also slammed that FIA stewards’ post-race decision to penalise Nico Rosberg for the radio infraction, dropping him from second to third.
“The formula one governing body would annul the result of a football match because a corner flag is found to be five millimetres higher than the rest,” he joked.