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Scheckter urges son to walk away

17 October 2011

Jody Scheckter has urged his son Tomas to quit the IndyCar Series following the death of Dan Wheldon in the final round of the 2011 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Scheckter was present at the race to watch his son in action and was faced with an anxious wait to discover if Tomas had escaped from the incident uninjured, with his car being one of the 15 caught up in the drama.

Speaking after the announcement that Wheldon had passed away, former F1 title winner Scheckter urged his son to quit the sport, arguing that it had now become too dangerous.

"I've wanted him to give up for a while," he told the BBC. “Hopefully this will knock some sense into him and realise there is more to life. It really isn't worth it.

“It is the most dangerous form of motor racing at the moment. I think the set-up they put in so it can be more of a spectacle makes it very, very dangerous on circuits like this. Some others [circuits] aren't as bad.

"They were basically touching wheels at 220mph. They all bunch up together so there are 34 cars in a small space of track. One person makes a mistake and this happens. You [shouldn't] have to get killed if you make a mistake. It was madness. Formula 1 is not like that anymore and it is still quite exciting."

Scheckter added that there had been nervous moments as he watched on before receiving the news than Tomas had escaped injury, while he paid tribute to former series champion Wheldon, who had raced against his childen in junior formulae.

"We really just hoped," he said. "I had the headset on through to his channel and I heard him say 'someone had hit me in the back' so I knew he was OK after that.

"Dan raced with or against some of my sons in England in Formula Vauxhall. We have known him for years really. He has been very successful. A bubbly guy all the time. It is very sad."


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