Niki Lauda has issued a warning to the new breed of Formula One driver, telling them that danger still lurks in the sport following Robert Kubica's crash in Montreal last weekend.

Although the Pole escaped his 160mph horror smash with just concussion and a sprained ankle, Lauda claimed that he had been extremely lucky and told the class of 2007 that they needed to respect the dangers that face them each time they get into the cockpit.

"The young drivers of this generation have not yet become acquainted with death," the three-time world champion told Germany's Bild am Sonntag, "The last fatality in Formula One was Ayrton Senna, 13 years ago, so, for many on the grid today, F1 is only about glitz and glamour.

"But that is an illusion. Unfortunately, it would take an accident to open their eyes, but you never can banish death from F1. That nothing has happened in those 13 years is gigantic good fortune but, some time, a crash like Kubica's in Montreal will happen again and someone will be killed. Although safety is very much improved, F1 remains a game on life and death."

Lauda's illustrated his point about the advances in safety by claiming that he would have been killed instantly had he suffered Kubica's accident in the cars he drove.

"The car would have been compressed like an accordion," he stressed, "The current carbon monocoques, together with the HANS neck and head system help to make an almost already perfect car. In my time, statistically there would be at least one death a year, sometimes two. Compared to that, today's risk is maybe ten per cent - but the risk remains."

 

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