Both Jenson Button and Mark Webber believe that action taken in the wake of Nico Rosberg's heavy accident at the Nouvelle Chicane prevented Sergio Perez from suffering a worse fate when he suffered a similar incident during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Both Rosberg and Perez joined a growing list of drivers to have their cars snap sharply into the barriers on the descent from the tunnel to the chicane, with the German lucky to avoid making contact with the end of the wall separating the run-off area from the circuit as it rounds the chicane. Perez, however, was not so fortunate, his Sauber slamming broadside into the Protec barriers surrounding the divider and leaving him concussed and in need of assistance from the medical teams.

Perez's accident had eerie echoes of that suffered by Karl Wendlinger in 1994, just days after the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola. The Austrian, coincidentally also at the wheel of a Sauber, remained in a coma for several weeks and failed to recover sufficiently to resume his F1 career long-term. Although Wendlinger went on to enjoy a career in sports and GT cars, F1 observers have been waiting for the next victim of that particular stretch of Monaco's infamous street circuit, with Button himself coming closest after careering into the edge of the same barrier and then down the escape road in 2003.

"The cars have improved dramatically in terms of safety since Karl Wendlinger's accident, and the barrier has been moved back since my accident, so there have been improvements, but we need to find a solution because we all love racing here," the Briton commented, "It's a very special circuit for us and there's so much history, but there's a couple of areas [that need looking at].

"That is the main area really, I think, [and] it's an area that we need to discuss and try and come up with a solution [for], because we all think the same thing. We all want it to be safer there, so we can really come here and really enjoy the racing.

"I obviously had a big accident there in 2003 and I know [Perez] will be very well looked after. He has probably had all the x-rays and everything by now. He is probably already shouting 'I want to be in the car, let me get back in the car,' which is what I was doing. I am glad he is okay and hopefully we will see him back soon."

While Button voiced his concerns about the run from tunnel to chicane, he admitted that there was also an element of blame to be carried by the current breed of F1 car.

"It's when you first hit the brakes, the rear goes very light," he explained, "For some reason, it seems to be more of an issue this year, which surprises me, because of the blown diffuser systems that a lot of us have. But the rear goes very light and, at that point, you become a passenger if you get oversteer. You have no control of the car and it's pitching you into the right-side barrier.

"Then the problem is that you lose braking capability, because you've got two wheels off the car and it's just a sled, just sitting on the floor. I'm really happy that [FIA safety delegate] Charlie [Whiting] made the right call and took away the speed humps after Nico's accident because I think, if they had been there, the [Perez] accident would have been even worse.

"It's a tricky corner, and it's an area where it's very difficult to do anything in terms of safety because it is what it is. It's Monaco, a street circuit, but I still think we need to look further as to what we can do with the run-off there."

Webber, who has had his fair share of frightening moments in both F1 and sportscars, agreed that the decision to remove obstacles designed to impede cars cutting the chicane had been the right one in light of Perez's accident.

"It's not a very nice part of the track - very, very high speed with a compromised run-off," the Australian opined, "You've got to slot down either side. Obviously, Nico went down one side and we've seen people go down the other side but, if you get it in the middle, you have problems, as Sergio did today.

"It was very lucky that they pulled the sleeping policemen up after Nico's incident this morning, because I think Sergio could have even had a nastier accident with his car potentially not having the right impact into the side. We saw Nico, obviously, and Vitaly [Petrov] on Thursday had a problem and he went straight down - I think he was lucky. But we can learn from this incident. In terms of safety, it's an area where we need to look at and improve for the future. JB was lucky, Karl Wendlinger too back in the mid-1990's, so I think there are a few places around here we probably need to continue to keep an eye on.

"It's always been pretty bumpy out of the tunnel, on the brakes, and, as the boys have touched on a little bit, every year we come here the cars are a little bit different aerodynamically. Also, in the early 2000s, we had cars with engine braking, distance mapped electronics, things that were very sophisticated to help [with] the rear locking and the problems that you can have when the rear of the car is moving around. Now the cars are a little bit more basic in some ways, but then you have more technology like the diffusers and things like this. We're always looking to make the cars fast but, on the flipside of that, the cars also then become a bit easier to drive or more predictable in those tricky situations. I think there is a bump there but it's just, if you have a problem with the rear of the car there at that speed, the chance to recover is very, very low."

Pole-winner Sebastian Vettel admitted that his success had been overshadowed by the incident, and revealed that it had been hard to keep focused on the business of qualifying while his rival was assessed and extracted from shattered Sauber.

"There is a bit of a shadow over qualifying when you see a colleague crash and not jump out of the car immediately," he confirmed, "Nico had a similar accident this morning, same place, and he walked away, so [there was] nothing to worry about. But then you sit inside your car [following Perez's accident] and I was asking to get any feedback, any updates, to know how Sergio is doing. To be honest, it is difficult to keep the focus and you don't feel 100 per cent well when you don't know what is going on.

"Obviously, the most important message was that Sergio is okay but, for the future, when we race on street circuits, here or places like Singapore, it's our job, the drivers' job, to make sure we defend ourselves and say 'okay, listen, we need this and that much space here and there'. That should be the target. Things like this are a bit of a wake-up call, so we have to make sure we learn from it."

Button added that he didn't think that the race would be as prone to similar accidents, but dismissed suggestions that the sport should remain 'dangerous' in the wash of what Vettel called a 'wake-up call'.

"Motor racing is dangerous, it says that on the passes and we all know it, but there's always more we can do," the 2009 world champion concluded, "We're all going to go racing tomorrow and I'm pretty sure that, with higher fuel loads and everything, you won't see any issues - I hope.

"So, yeah, it is a dangerous sport, but I think we still need to keep tweaking certain areas. Some people say that it should always stay a dangerous sport, we shouldn't improve it, but I don't think that's correct. I think we've had some amazing racing this year and a lot of very safe racing, and some great fights, but there are just a couple of little areas that I think we all need to sit down and really be improved for the future."



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