Ricciardo: Spa changes wouldn't stop Eau Rouge being "scary and exciting"

Eau Rouge would not lose its charm as a ‘scary and exciting’ Formula 1 corner even if crash barriers are moved much further away from the track, says Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo: Spa changes wouldn't stop Eau Rouge being "scary and exciting"

On an F1 weekend where safety at the Belgian Grand Prix’s most famous corner has come under the spotlight, McLaren’s Ricciardo has joined the chorus of drivers urging changes to be made.

And with Spa chiefs having already outlined renovation work that will include revisions to the barriers and runoffs at the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex, Ricciardo says there is no doubt that something has to be done.

Asked by Autosport about where the balance lay between making corners super safe but without changes then taking away the challenge, Ricciardo said: “I think the balance is in the form of what history has shown.

“As exciting as Eau Rouge is, it does tend to have big accidents pretty much every year. If it's not in F1 it will be in another category, where there are big ones. I think that's where it's a bit too much.

“I think the corner will still be scary and exciting even if they push the barrier a few extra metres back, because it's also the way the cars then bounce back onto the track.

“It's kind of just realigning the safety. I don't think it's changing the pure character of the corner. I think it's just removing any of the unnecessary danger. With history, and that sort of side of it, no one benefits when the danger's pointed in that direction.”

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Ricciardo’s team-mate Lando Norris escaped without serious injury from a high-speed crash at Eau Rouge during Saturday’s wet qualifying session.

He agreed that a recent run of accidents there, including at the Spa 24 Hours and W Series, had highlighted that action needed to be taken.

“I think there's been sadly too many things going on in such a corner,” said the Briton. “Of course, we love keeping things the same, we love the historic part of Spa. But in terms of a safety point, there has been so many crashes lately, and over the past few years, which have led on to obviously many bad things happening, which we obviously don't want.”

Ricciardo said there was no doubt that drivers still loved the nature of Eau Rouge, and was clear that they did not want the actual track to be altered.

“I'm still happy racing here,” he said. “I think if they try to tweak and just make the track a bit safer then I think we all want to keep coming here, and we're definitely not trying to get it removed from the calendar.

“But of course if we can help it remain on the calendar by adjusting some of these areas, then we'll do that because it's a mega track.”

shares
comments

Related video

Monza renames Parabolica in honour of Michele Alboreto

Previous article

Monza renames Parabolica in honour of Michele Alboreto

Next article

Archive: Schumacher's verdict on his Spa F1 debut

Archive: Schumacher's verdict on his Spa F1 debut
Load comments
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021