Team bosses back proposal to punish bad drivers

Montreal: Formula One team bosses have backed a proposal by International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt to penalise Grand Prix drivers for everyday traffic offences.

Todt feels Formula One drivers should play a greater role in promoting road safety and wants drivers who break rules on public roads to be punished.

Todt’s comments, published in a French newspaper earlier this week, came after Lewis Hamilton was charged by Australian police for doing a “burn-out” on a public road while attending this year’s Melbourne Grand Prix.

“I completely agree with it. I thought that used to be the case anyway,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said at a press conference after Friday’s practice session for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

“The drivers are ambassadors for driving safely on the road. Certainly, I don’t think we would have any problem if that was reinstated.”

Renault team principal Eric Boullier was also in agreement about driver responsibility but unsure about the best way to punish them.

“I don’t know how you can handle penalising them on track when they are doing something bad on the road,” he said. “But they definitely need to behave because they have ambassador status.”

Martin Whitmarsh, the principal of Hamilton’s McLaren team also gave tacit support to the proposal but with a cheeky provision.

“Yes, I agree with that, but we wouldn’t want to extend it to team members,” he said.

Bureau Report

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