Drivers say GP should not have started

Sun, 30 September 2007, 01:33

A group of drivers think the FIA’s Charlie Whiting was wrong to start the Japanese grand prix after 19 laps behind the safety car on Sunday.

Racers including Honda’s Rubens Barrichello, the most experienced current driver in formula one, said the treacherous rain, fog and zero visibility made the race at Fuji Speedway one of the most dangerous he has faced.

“In my view, the race should have been stopped very early on,” said the Brazilian.

“The conditions were so difficult and it was impossible to see anything for the entire race.”

BMW’s Nick Heidfeld, who made his grand prix debut in 2000, added: “In my opinion the race should not have been started under these weather conditions.”

Jenson Button said: “The conditions and visibility were so bad that it felt really dangerous out there and it was really difficult to keep the tyres warm enough to be effective.”

Williams’ Nico Rosberg told a television interview that he also thinks the race should never have started, and called the conditions “the worst I have ever raced in”.

His veteran teammate Alex Wurz crashed out, and compared the sensation of driving in Japan to “closing your eyes and running through your house at high speed”.

BMW’s Robert Kubica added: “The beginning of the race was very risky. For me the decision (to start) was a bit too early and it was a bit mad to drive.”

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