Atlas F1 News Service

Lauda Slams Traction Control Return

Friday February 23rd, 2001

Three-time Formula One World Champion and new member of the Jaguar Racing team Niki Lauda has slammed the FIA's decision to re-introduce traction control and other "driving aids" as of the Spanish Grand Prix this season.

In an statement released on Friday, the sports' governing body announced the return of traction control and other electronic aids this year, something many Formula One observers, Lauda amongst them, believe would reduce the drivers' input.

The Austrian also said Formula One should reduce the electronic elements the cars use in order for the races to be more entertaining.

"We need to reduce all this technical bullshit," he was quoted as saying by ITV. "Anyone could drive these cars, even in the wet. I think it is a joke. If you make the car so easy to drive there will never be any overtaking.

"Traction control has been reintroduced because they can't control it, but from my point of view it takes away all the effort of the drivers.

"As you make the car mechanically so easy to drive, the only thing you have to worry about is braking. Gear-shifting is no problem any longer. In the old days, if you missed a gear then you broke the engine and your Grand Prix was over - or somebody passed you.

"At Monaco when I was racing you had to make 3000 gear changes during the course of a race," Lauda added. "If you missed a gear you slid into a barrier. That showed the real difference between the drivers.

"Do we want technology? Or do we want proper racing, more entertainment, where we can attract more and more spectators?

"We want proper racing for spectators. Fortunately, the accidents we see now are not serious so children and grandmothers watch and see no blood and more and more will watch. But if the races are boring they will stop watching."

Traction control will make its return at the Spanish Grand Prix, fifth round of the championship, on April 29.

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