Dog incident unavoidable, Turkey GP insists

Thu, 15 May 2008, 03:47

The operators of Turkey’s grand prix circuit have defended their actions following the FIA’s strong response to the stray dogs incidents that marred the GP2 race last Sunday.

F1’s governing body has launched an investigation into the incidents and is not ruling out imposing sanctions, after Bruno Senna’s car struck and killed one of two dogs that crossed the circuit just hours before the formula one race.

In a statement, Istanbul Park Organizasyon – which last year was taken over by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone – said it takes circuit safety “very seriously”.

“We took all possible measures to manage the problem and we cooperated with the FIA race director throughout the grand prix,” the statement to Reuters added.

“We regret the incident involving Bruno Senna’s car and we are far from complacent about it but, with the best will in the world, it isn’t possible to eradicate the problem altogether,” the circuit operators said.

Istanbul Park insists that the problem is the endemic presence around the Turkish city of stray dogs, which are attracted to the circuit by F1 teams’ own catering units.

The operators said humane traps were already on site before the Senna incident, as was a team of vets to catch and relocate the dogs.

“But this is of itself a dangerous task because some of these dogs are feared to carry rabies and appropriate precautions need to be taken.”

Interestingly, when Anthony Davidson struck a groundhog at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year, the FIA took no action.

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