Perez calls for more use of safety car after Bianchi crash

Thu Oct 9, 2014 6:13am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI Russia (Reuters) - Formula One should deploy the safety car whenever a tractor is used to retrieve a car from the track, Mexican Sergio Perez said on Thursday, as drivers reflected on Jules Bianchi's horrific crash in Japan last weekend.

Bianchi has been in hospital since the accident at Suzuka, the last medical bulletin issued on Tuesday saying the Frenchman had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in critical but stable condition.

The 25-year-old Marussia driver, a Ferrari test driver who was an emerging talent, aquaplaned off in rain and poor visibility and crashed into the back of a tractor that was removing a crashed Sauber.

"In the future, when there is a tractor picking up a car, we need a safety car no matter the conditions because there is always a risk," Force India driver Perez told reporters at the new Russian Grand Prix Circuit.

"You expose the marshals, a lot of people, so we need a safety car if the tractor is on track.

"You could have people run out of brakes, so many factors you never expect, and if the tractor is there it's a big problem," added the Mexican. "You don't want to expose anyone like that. We have to take care of the marshals."

Formula One's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), has opened an enquiry into the accident with a number of questions to be addressed.

How and when tractors are deployed to remove crashed cars has been a concern in Formula One for years and has come under renewed scrutiny.   Continued...

Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico talks with a reporter at the Sochi Autodrom circuit October 9, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh