Monday January 14th, 2002
Williams driver Ralf Schumacher can wear spectacles while racing if he wants to, Formula One's ruling body said on Monday.
The latest edition of Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport magazine, due to appear on Tuesday, reported that Formula One's medical expert Professor Sid Watkins had said the Williams driver must drive with contact lenses. But FIA spokesman Francesco Longanesi said that was not the case.
"At present there is nothing in the FIA rules that prevents a driver from wearing spectacles when competing," he told Reuters. "What a medical officer can do is to advise a driver not to wear spectacles but he certainly cannot impose it."
Ralf, younger brother of World Champion Michael and winner of three races last season, revealed last month that he will wear glasses in 2002.
"It just allows me to see things a little better and in Formula One that is essential," he said. "The thing now is to try them in testing and get used to them for the season."
Auto Bild said that Ralf's helmet maker Schuberth had developed a special inner padding with channels for the glass frames. Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 World Champion, wears glasses in daily life but contact lenses in the car.
Published at 16:20:22 GMT