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Toto Wolff thinks F1 ‘over cautious’ on safety

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Toto Wolff thinks F1 'over cautious' on safety

Toto Wolff thinks F1 ‘over cautious’ on safety

Toto Wolff thinks F1 has become “a little over-cautious” in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death.

After a stewards enquiry on Saturday, Nico Rosberg was able to keep his pole position although some rivals – including teammate Lewis Hamilton – questioned whether he had slowed sufficiently for a yellow flag.

“Nico only lost a tenth,” said the reigning world champion, while Daniel Ricciardo also complained that the Fernando Alonso spin cost him a shot at pole.

Hamilton added: “If that’s really what we are allowed to do in future it’s a different rule for all us drivers.”

Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko called it a “farce” that despite setting his fastest overall sector in the yellow flag zone, Rosberg kept his pole.

But earlier in qualifying at the Hungaroring, it was the hour-long Q1 session that was capturing attention amid delays for rain and constant red-flag interruptions.

When asked if F1 is being too cautious in the name of safety, Ricciardo answered: “The only thing I feel is hungry. I had a light lunch and now I’m hungry.”

Mercedes chief Wolff, however, backed race director Charlie Whiting’s decision to be cautious on this occasion.

“There was too much water,” he said.

“But Silverstone was another case,” Speed Week quotes Wolff as saying. “I would have done a few laps behind the safety car then a normal start.

“But because of the Bianchi accident we are perhaps in some situations a little over-cautious at the moment,” he added.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko agrees, but thinks the sport is at least moving in the right direction with its switch to faster and more aggressive cars for 2017.

“Formula one fans need to say ‘That’s something I won’t do myself’. It got so popular because risk was a part of the sport.

“This safety that we have now is nonsense. And this idiocy with the Halo system will completely destroy formula one,” Marko told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“These tarmac run-off areas and the crazy idea with kerbs that smash suspension and now driving over the white line with one, two, three or four wheels — it has nothing to do with racing. So many things are wrong,” he insisted.

And when asked about certain world champions who argue about the importance of safety, Marko fired: “(Jenson) Button, who earns 10 million, should retire.

“Safety is all well and good, but it cannot be that skiing is more dangerous than formula one,” he added.

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