FIA to clamp down on dangerous ‘taxi rides’ after Webber-Alonso incident

Fernando Alonso gives Mark Webber a lift

Fernando Alonso gives Mark Webber a lift

The FIA is set to clamp down on the sort of ‘taxi drive’ shenanigans witnessed on the slowing-down lap of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was reprimanded, and Mark Webber pushed ten places down the Korea grid, after the stricken Australian hitched a ride back to the pits on the sidepod of Alonso’s Ferrari.

It triggered great memories of 1991, when legend Ayrton Senna rode on the Williams sidepod of rival Nigel Mansell at Silverstone.

However, publishing video footage of the moment Webber ran across the track to climb onto the Ferrari, after Alonso stopped on the racing line after a blind corner in front of following cars, Blick correspondent Roger Benoit conceded that the pair had been “reckless”.

Referring to Webber’s harsh penalty, Swiss steward Paul Gutjahr insisted: “We could not do otherwise.”

Fernando Alonso was passenger on Mark Webber's car at the 2011 German GP

Fernando Alonso was passenger on Mark Webber’s car at the 2011 German GP

Another Singapore steward, former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick, agreed: “It is not health and safety gone mad.

“I hope we’re not seen as killjoys. I want Formula 1 to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle,” he told the Telegraph. “[But] a driver could easily have been hurt.”

According to the Spanish sports newspaper AS, the FIA could now tighten the rules to make clearer what is expected of the drivers.

It is expected the drivers will be briefed in detail ahead of next weekend’s Korean Grand Prix.

“We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula 1,” Warwick continued. “But we cannot put drivers at risk.

“If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • McLarenfan

    The incident just needs a few words “do think about the place you stop”. There is no need to say anything else to do so will harm the sport more for the TV and the fans. It will also take out more of the camaraderie between the drivers.

  • Mercedes supporter forever

    The FIA Jean Todt is ruining F1…. So, if their car stops on track on the slow-down lap, you expect them to walk all the way back to the pits?

  • grat

    Wait– these guys are averaging 105 mph through concrete canyons, sitting on 300 lbs of explosive material, with their posterior a mere 5 inches off the asphalt (and this is a SLOW track!)…

    And they can’t be counted on to look both ways when crossing the track?!?

  • fools

    I understand FIA is clamping down on safety and has been since, especially from the tire incident from Mark Webber’s pit stop and his tire coming off hitting the camera man this yr.

    However, these are grown men who signed a contract to risk there lives daily to drive these machines to the maximum and limits beyond anything before production.

    This is getting a bit silly and starting to get over the top and getting to much press. Let the men be men. Besides how many actual F1 drivers are there driving right now that need to be limited by safety on act like these?
    These are grown men! Get off it FIA and move on.

  • F1 Neutral

    It’s not like we see this happening all the time.
    Alonso and Webber seem like good friends with a lot of respect for each other both on track and off it.
    If drivers were doing this all the time, it would become clichéd and unoriginal.
    The stewards even had a word with Alonso when he draped the Spanish flag over the P1 stopping point after he won in Barcelona. I thought that was really bad from the FIA.

  • remy

    what a load of tripe. health n safety gone mad. its marks last few races. cut him some slack! all these ridiculous grid drops for lil misdemeanors that apparently were dangerous. i dont remember a time in f1 ever when someone has revived a taxi and someone got hurt.

    whats next, no more pit stops because occasionally the odd wheel runs off…!!

    stop removing the character and style of racing and drivers alike. YOUR KILLING THE SPORT

  • Clive

    This sport is getting soft and boring, wonder why people are turning away. I would never miss a practice through to race but these days it’s hard to find motivation to watch a whole race.

  • tod

    About time the FIA grew up & got a life before our sport is totally ruined, it almost is now!!!!!