Warwick defends reprimands over ‘taxi’ row

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Former F1 driver Derek Warwick, who was one of the stewards during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, has defended the decision to hand Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso reprimands.

Webber and Alonso were censured after Webber rode back to the pits on Alonso’s car following the race.

Warwick, who started 162 races between 1981 and 1993, told The Telegraph stewards do want F1 to be entertaining and fun but that it must also be safe.

“We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula One. But we cannot put drivers at risk. If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently, but this was potentially very dangerous. You can’t have cars parked in the middle of a corner.”

Webber was accused of returning to the track without obtaining permission from a marshal, something he has since refuted. Alonso’s reprimand was for stopping on the racing line while he collected Webber, forcing other drivers to take avoiding action.

“A driver could easily have been hurt,” said Warwick. “I hope we’re not seen as killjoys. I want Formula One to be entertaining. I want it to be a spectacle.”

Webber’s reprimand was his third of the year, earning him an automatic ten-place grid penalty for the Korean Grand Prix next week.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”