Thursday May 17th, 2001
Adrian Newey has given his backing to the new electronic systems despite launch control failures leaving four cars stranded on the grid in last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.
The traction and launch control systems were introduced for the first at this year's Spanish Grand Prix after being banned at the end of the 1993 season and the McLaren technical director, who witnessed his team's own driver Mika Hakkinen make a procedural mistake to ruin his start using launch control, said that calls for a re-think would be wrong.
"Doubtless now, there'll be cries for you know, it's too dangerous, and there could have been a startline accident," he Newey said. "But equally there could have been a startline accident if someone had stalled it with the old strategy.
"It is the newness of the systems at the moment teams and drivers between them haven't got totally on top of them. So I don't think you can just simply say this is a farce and do something different because I wouldn't be surprised if there were no such examples in the next race."
Apart from Hakkinen, Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and both Jordan drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli stalled their cars during the start of the Austrian race.