Reigning F1 champion Sebastian Vettel has highlighted another issue that could rear its head given the increase in the number of pay drivers on the grid: how to lap them without getting held up.

The sport is currently facing a repeat of similar economic conditions from the mid 1990s that saw the grids from fifteen years ago swell with a host of drivers who bring substantial backing – perhaps being more equal than their actual talent – to their respective teams.

And the World Champion believes that the situation could compromise the quality of the grid, as he told Austria’s Servus TV when he was asked if the pay drivers made the sport more dangerous.

“There is a risk to us if the drivers being lapped are unpredictable,” he replied.

“There are some in the field that we know are moving obstacles,” he added.

Further complicating the matter, Vettel argues, is the risk of more accidents due to the introduction of KERS and adjustable rear wings, whose use leads drivers to risk taking their eyes off the road ahead.

“It’s a bit like driving a car while playing with your mobile phone,” he added.

[Original image via LAT]


Are today’s backmarkers any more of a nuisance in comparison to those from the earlier era when lapping the tail-enders was more of an art? We certainly think so – read our list of the ten worst offenders when being lapped by clicking the thumbnail below:

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.