(GMM) Alex Wurz (shown above) admits it’s not fair to blame one of Formula 1’s new race directors for unrest in the driver camp at present.
The former F1 driver now represents the entire grid as president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, which recently sent a letter to the sport’s authorities outlining the drivers’ concerns on a range of topics.
“Drivers and fans just have to get used to a new race director now,” Austrian Wurz, 48, told Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
“You can’t blame Niels Wittich, he just executes the regulations he’s been given,” he added, referring to one of the two race directors who this year replaced the axed Michael Masi.
Wurz is, however, expecting a difficult weekend for Wittich at Paul Ricard this weekend.
“Yes, it can get even worse there,” he said, referring to world champion Max Verstappen’s denouncement of the ‘track limits’ debate this year as a “joke”.
“Paul Ricard was actually designed as a test track and for amateur races, so gravel is extremely expensive to maintain on a daily basis,” Wurz said.
Indeed, Verstappen had suggested that gravel and barriers would solve the farcical ‘track limits’ debate.
Wurz agrees: “Natural track limits are best. So grass or gravel, where mistakes are punished immediately. I would choose a strict but pragmatic path.
“So where there is a gravel behind the line, don’t be so strict, and where there is asphalt behind the curb, be strict.
“It’s about whether there’s an advantage or not,” he added.
“Now we’re like tennis, where the line is the clear limit. But it’s been an issue that has been discussed since the introduction of asphalt run-off.
“That goes hand-in-hand with the introduction of standard FIA curbs under Charlie Whiting, as nobody needs these sausage curbs as dangerous ramps,” Wurz insists.