Sebastian Vettel asks for patience, drivers explain why they ignore risks
Sebastian Vettel requested patience and understanding on Thursday as he and Formula One tackled questions on his future and the safety of drivers following last weekend`s crash-marred Japanese Grand Prix.
Sochi: Sebastian Vettel requested patience and understanding on Thursday as he and Formula One tackled questions on his future and the safety of drivers following last weekend`s crash-marred Japanese Grand Prix.
Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend`s inaugural Russian Grand Prix, the four-time world champion, who last week announced he will leave Red Bull next season, said there was no "golden answer" to questions on safety.
Frenchman Jules Bianchi, 25, remained in a `critical but stable` condition in Japan following his life-threatening crash, when his Marussia car collided with a recovery vehicle.
"I think it is very difficult right now to give the golden answer," he said. "There are a lot of circumstances to consider, in that type of accident, but there is something to learn for sure, always.
"We have to try to digest it and make the right conclusions. It would be wrong after just a couple of days afterwards to come up with something that is not thought through."
On his future, he said: "I hope to make an announcement soon and then, when that comes out, then it will be clear enough and you can draw a conclusion on why I had to wait."
Vettel has been linked with a move to replace two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, but none of the parties involved have made any comment.
Alonso supported Vettel`s proposal to wait and see before making any proposals in reaction to Bianchi`s accident.
"There is an investigation going on and we don`t have the details to make any changes. Let the people do their work and then, whatever, we can share it," he said.
Both men also explained how the thrill of racing overwhelmed any concerns about personal safety when they considered their own positions.
"We share a common passion for racing and competing and fortunately in Formula One we have the best and the quickest cars in the world," said Vettel.
"And the most excitement. And the best satisfaction. But there is always some risk involved, which is a great part of the feeling and why you feel so alive."
Later, he added: "We are all old enough to have our own passports and to make our own decisions so it is our conscious decision to go racing.
"We share the love and the thrill of managing the car on the limit and there is always a risk that something can go wrong. It is in the nature of the sport. Look at the speeds involved.
"Look, too, at the safety record and we have come a long way. If he is not happy, a driver, he is old enough to say `no`.
"But, surely, we have been fortunate that in our generation there have been crashes with limited outcome, but last week reminded us how apparent the risk is - and how quickly it can change."
Brazilian Felipe Massa, who described the Suzuka race as "the worst of my life", explained that his love of racing inspired him and enabled him to dismiss the dangers.
"Sure, you think about it," he said. "It doesn`t mean it is the right thing to do. I love to race, to compete, it is when I feel happiness and pleasure. We know there is a risk."