The FISA officials, including Bernie Ecclestone, must count themselves extremely fortunate that they do not have any dead or seriously injured Grand Prix drivers on their consciences after the Australian Grand Prix. The decision to force the drivers to take their cars out on a circuit running with water could only have been made by those who could watch the proceedings safely within their offices and mobile homes.
Grand Prix racing is a dangerous occupation and those who take part in it are fully aware of the risks and are well rewarded for doing so. It seems to me, however, a total contradiction that FISA, which has been making a fool of itself all season by its imposition of varying penalties on drivers for dangerous tactics, should send drivers out in such conditions. The incidents where both Senna and Piquet ploughed into the back of slower cars showed that visibility was zero and the stream of vehicles spinning off should have forced a halt to the race until conditions improved. Congratulations to Prost for having the courage to refuse to take part when the race was restarted. Perhaps if a few more drivers had followed him the officials would have been forced to back down.
Readers of Motor Sport do not need any reminding that the administration of motorsport by FISA and its autocratic president is an absolute farce. There will be no improvement until there has been a complete reform of the way in which the sport is run. At the moment Grand Prix racing seems to be operated firstly for the benefit of the officials, secondly for the sponsors and thirdly for the media. The feelings or concerns of drivers and spectators do not seem to figure large in the minds of the officials. It is refreshing to see that McLaren are to challenge FISA in the civil courts over the penalties imposed on Senna. Whatever the merits of that particular case, I hope that McLaren can rock the boat sufficiently to crack the complacency and arrogance surrounding FISA. I hope also that other teams will temporarily forget their rivalries and support McLaren in its efforts. This will be the best opportunity yet to achieve a more healthy balance of power in the sport. With the season now finished, efforts can be made to carry out much needed reforms before the circus goes to Phoenix in March.
Nicholas Serpell, Liskeard, Cornwall