World champ says safety aims must be widened

Michael Schumacher has led calls for better safety for marshals after a second death in six months.

As the world of Grand Prix racing came to terms with another marshal fatality, the world champion said that the crusade by the sport's governing body, the FIA, which has revolutionised Grand Prix safety standards had to go on.

"We have made very good improvements, especially since Monza, but we obviously have to think about what more improvements can be made," said the Ferrari star. "It is not sufficient just to improve driver safety. After what happened in Monza and now here, we have to look in other areas too. If we do everything to save our lives we have to do everything as well to save the lives of other people involved.

"The problem is very obvious and the FIA will take action themselves," he added. "They have been looking intensively at safety, and since Monza it has intensified even further.

"I am confident they will react appropriately. If we the drivers can be of help, then I am sure we will be. But to be honest, there are no areas in life where you can be 100 per cent safe.

"All the drivers regret very much what happened and send our condolences to the man who died and his family."

The marshal, in his mid-50s, was killed by a wheel or by contact with the car itself after Jacques Villeneuve's BAR-Honda crashed at Turn Three at around 160mph. Villeneuve escaped with minor injuries.

Schumacher went on to praise both the FIA's safety programme and the standards at the Albert Park track, where he crashed at 120mph in Friday. He had complained about the fact the gravel trap was not level and a ridge of gravel had pitched his car in a lurid barrel role.

"I know about the high security standards here in Albert Park because they have worked hard - but we have to try and improve it further," he said.

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