FIA President Jean Todt has suggested that F1 drivers face sporting sanctions if found guilty of driving offences on public roads.
The former Ferrari boss, who heads up the FIA’s ‘Make Roads Safer’ campaign with his fiancé, the actress Michelle Yeoh, believes it to be wrong that F1 drivers can escape FIA sanction if they commit serious road driving offences.
This comes in the wake of rather flippant comments from Lewis Hamilton – who was detained and later charged by Victorian Police for ‘hoon’ driving antics in Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix this year – who claimed during the Turkish Grand Prix that the local authorities in Australia were “loving the publicity” his driving antics had generated.
This remark has come under scorn from the state’s Traffic Commissioner, Ken Lay, who said: “The bottom line is people die on our roads because of hoon behaviour and he has set a really bad example.”
Couldn’t agree more, Ken!
It appears that Monsieur Todt was equally unimpressed with Hamilton’s remarks, and is rumoured to be considering a protocols list to inform drivers about respecting the individual road laws of each host nation they visit for the respective Grands Prix in which they compete.
Additionally, he may consider imposing sanctions on drivers found guilty of committing traffic offences.
Speaking with French newspaper Le Parisien, the FIA head said: “I have actually asked this question.
“Last year, 1.3 million people died on roads in the world – 90% in developing countries.
“The forecasts for 2020 are terrible, and they estimate that nearly two million people will be killed if no action is taken by then. Now, with a minimum of dialogue, that figure could be halved. This requires education, improved road networks, and the involvement of new technology on cars
“There is an incompatibility between the status of a role model champion, and a possible infringement on the road. We are therefore trying to see whether to do something, and how.”
Do you believe that F1 drivers should be better role models on the public roads? Have your say in the comments section below…
COMING UP! A “Richard’s Top Ten” feature on whacky F1 scandals – police intervention, arrests, kidnapping and more!