Questions Over Race Safety
18 October 2011, 11:28
Motor racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart has questioned the safety of Indy car racing after the crash that killed Britain's Dan Wheldon.
The 33 year old - who originally came from Emberton near Milton Keynes and went to Bedford School - died in a fifteen-car 220mph pile up during an Indy car race in Las Vegas on Sunday 16 October 2011.
Stewart, who won three Formula One championships for Tyrrell between 1969 and 1973, believes there are too many cars competing at too high speeds in IndyCar and certain problems need to be addressed.
"The accident we saw yesterday was something different," he told Sky Sports News.
"It was such high speed on such a small track with too many cars together and not that many top racing drivers in there.
"Take 15 cars out of a field of 34. It's probably too much for a one-and-a-half-mile circuit."
But Stewart, who became an advocate for racing safety following his retirement in 1973, believes reducing the number of cars on the track is not the only potential solution.
"Problems really are made to be overcome. We can find better ways of doing things,'' he added.
"It may be that we have to have smaller engines with smaller horsepower and slower speeds in IndyCar racing.
"Do we have to do 230, 240 miles per hour? We don't have to do those speeds. If all the cars were travelling at the same speeds, if you could knock off 30 or 40mph from that speed frankly no one would notice.
"You've got to contain the action within the race.
"I don't think you can stand still for safety. There's always an improvement to be made."