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Series under fire for driving standards

GP2 driving standards have come under fire from various corners of the F1 community, with critics saying they're leading to dangerous knock-on effects at Grand Prix level.
The quality and standard of driving in the GP2 Series has come under fire from various quarters of the F1 community, following the accident at the start of the 2012 F1 Belgian Grand Prix which was sparked by a mistake made by last year's GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean.

The latest former F1 driver to weigh in on the issue of driver standards is Alexander Wurz, who made his unhappiness with the quality of driving in GP2 crystal clear on Wednesday.

"Looking at GP2 races, which is the feeder series, the driver standards there are appalling - bad, very bad," Wurz told Reuters. "And they are coming in to F1."

Wurz added that improving the level of driving in GP2 now has to be one of the FIA's top priorities in order to stop a recurrence of the frightening accident at La Source at the start of last week's Spa race, in which airborne cars came close to hitting drivers' hands and heads in their open cockpits.

"It's something we clearly must work on that the feeder series are very strict and of the same standard as F1," continued Wurz. "And we have to achieve this and address it very quickly."

Wurz retired from F1 in 2007, and is a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour race. As well as owning a road safety training business, the 38-year-old Austrian racer is currently a driver mentor at Williams - which includes advising Pastor Maldonado, the other recent GP2 graduate currently coming under heavy fire for his quality of driving in this year's Grand Prix races.

Wurz' comments come on the same day that Red Bull driver Mark Webber launched his own broadside on driver standards in F1 and the support series, with Webber saying that the improved safety precautions in the cars and at circuits is allowing drivers to be more reckless.

"In the last 10 years, the level of aggressiveness has ramped up a bit just because guys know that usually they'll be able to walk away from a crash," Webber wrote in a column for BBC Sport. "But you can be aggressive and safe or aggressive and unsafe."

Webber - who co-runs the MW Arden GP3 team with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner - added that: "F1 is not a finishing school when it comes to racing," implying that drivers should be far more polished before arriving in F1 in future and that the current state of the drivers graduating from the lower open wheel formulas was not currently good enough (see separate story.)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) celebrates his victory in the GP2 sprint race at Silverstone on the podium. [Photo credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.]
Romain Grosjean (FRA, Dams) at the Nurburgring on Frday, July 22 2011. [Picture credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
The accident at turn 2 sees Romain Grosjean (the #11 yellow car third from the right) squeezed between the #9 iSport of Sam Bird (left) and the #27 AirAsia of Davide Valsecchi, while ahead of them is eventual race winner Esteban Gutierrez in the Lotus ART #6. Valencia, June 2011. [Photo credit: Charles Coates/GP2 Media Service.]
Pastor Maldonado - Rapax
Pastor Maldonado celebrates victory at Silverstone   [pic credit: GP2]
02.09.2012- Race, Start of the race, Crash, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
Alexander Rossi (USA) Racing Engineering
2015 GP2 Series Round 5. Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Saturday 04 July 2015. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS, Rapax), Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) on the podium with their trophies. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Media Service.

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Josh - Unregistered

September 14, 2012 11:30 AM

Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Glock, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Perez, d'Ambrosio, Pic, Senna - all former GP2 drivers and for the most part, respectable racers... Blame Grosjean for causing the accident. After all he was the one strapped into the car and trying to drive over the top of people. There are some lads currently in GP2 who are fantastic, clean, respectable drivers. Some with less funding are a little more desperate to make their mark and sometimes it goes wrong. Some of them are just plain stupid. This is racing, there are good and bad drivers everywhere, in GP2, and in F1.

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