• Italian Grand Prix

Drivers react to Parabolica changes

ESPN Staff
September 4, 2014 « Alonso won't influence my future - Button | Vettel coy on McLaren rumours »
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Following the tarmacking of the outside of the Parabolica corner at Monza, drivers have been reacting to the new run-off during the first day of press briefings at the Italian Grand Prix.

The new strip of tarmac has been designed to make the track safer, but not all drivers agree it is necessary.

Sergio Perez: "Personally,I'm not really happy. The opinion I have is that we were not in a risk, as drivers, at Parabolica. It was more a driver error you could do there, lock the wheels and get a moment and then get stuck in the gravel. I think that is a nice thing. I think Parabolica was iconic of Monza so it's a shame we lost it, I don't see the reason why we changed it.

"The only thing it changes is the confidence you arrive with there. If you did a mistake in the past you know the gravel is waiting for you and if you get out you will lose a couple of seconds. Now you can do a mistake and not lose so much. I think we should have places where if you make an error you go out - that's good for F1, that's good for the drivers, that's good for the fans.

"I don't think we as drivers discussed much about it, or not as I am aware of. I think so. Obviously the FIA is always looking for the safety of the drivers but as I said, the safety of the driver was not really an issue there. It's a big shame because I love Monza is a very great, great place and I love the history of Formula One so it's a shame we lost the touch of F1."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I haven't seen it … I guess I'll see it tomorrow. It's a pretty fast corner and easy to run wide in the last part of the corner. I don't know where they have put the tarmac, but you could have some pretty nasty accidents around there because when you touched the gravel it [the corner] keeps turning and you cannot really do much to miss the guardrail. Having tarmac will help that a lot, but does it change that we start getting complaints about who was four wheels over the white line and who gained or not? It's the way every circuit seems to go and it's better because we don't damage the cars with mistakes and your race is not finished. In the past you made a mistake and you paid for it, now you lose one lap in practice or qualifying or maybe lose a place in the race. There are always two ways of thinking if that is good or not."

Lewis Hamilton: "I think the FIA are very conscious of safety and that is nothing to shy away from. It is a very, very important issue. But I am old school. I like the old circuits back in the 1990s I guess when there were no tarmac run-off areas and it was grass.

"Even last year here when you went round the corner, and I experienced it in 2013, I went wide through a mistake and you paid for the mistake. But what is really important is if you do have an incident the tarmac does slow the car down better. It is a good move [in that sense], but you can't win both sides."

Fernando Alonso: "There have been some discussions in the past for the entry, probably in case you have a brake failure or something to have the possibility to not go straight, just into the gravel and hit the tyres but probably from mid- to exit of the corner, that was probably a surprise for us also, which it still is I think.

"Artificial grass on mid- to exit, which before probably we said that we can put two wheels out of the track and two inside and don't pay a big price, but I don't agree now. I think if you put two wheels now, you will go on that artificial grass and you have to back off because you have a snap on the car and you need to back off, so you still need to be a few centimetres from that artificial grass now to do a perfect corne."

Jenson Button: "I haven't seen it actually. I don't want to have a look. Every time I drive past it I'm going to close my eyes, which is what I always do round Parabolica anyway!" he joked. "I understand the reason behind safety and asphalting run-off areas, and straight ahead at braking is a great idea.

"The exit I haven't had a look at yet. I've heard there's still astroturf so you can't put wheels on astroturf when you're laterally loaded at high speed anyway because it will spit you in to the inside barrier, so I'm sure it's no easier than it was before."

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