Formula 1 British GP 2011: Mark Webber talks car tech

Exclusive: Red Bull F1 driver says tech is ruining driving

Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Mark Webber talks exclusively to T3 ahead of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix 2011 stating technology is ruining driving

Ahead of this weekend’s British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber has told T3 how he believes increased technology is ruining driving.

The Australian racing driver, who is currently sitting second in the Formula 1 driver’s standings behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, has revealed to T3 that he believes new technologies are removing the need for driver interaction with their vehicles.

Speaking at the launch of a limited edition range of driver-replica super breathable Geox Red Bull racing Shoes at Harrods this week, Webber said: “Technology is so good now that the driver interaction with the car in itself is getting not dulled down but to the point where you’re not as part of the car as you were a few years ago.”

Outing his distaste of technologies carrying drivers Webber added: “There are lots of things that have taken away the driver interaction; we’re reminded to do lots of obvious things in the car now. Obviously, I’ve never driven a road car without a seatbelt on, it’s the first thing I put on, but now people have to be reminded to do that.“

Whilst Webber believes technology is removing the enjoyment of driving his sport of Formula 1 is constantly pioneering new technologies that will eventually filter down into mass production road vehicles.

“F1 has always been the leaders of car technology,” said the winner of last year’s Silverstone Grand Prix. “You look at ABS brakes; carbon fibre is starting to come into road cars now, crash structures even. That stuff has certainly come from packaging and weight-saving making cars much more efficient and stronger, tyre technology is often from F1 or from racing too.

“A lot of that stuff has filtered down, some of it takes a few years, some of it takes 10 years because it’s just very advanced at the time when we have it.”

Do you believe car technologies are dumbing down the driving process or simply aiding in consumer comfort and convenience? Let us know what you think via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.