Max Chilton recommends spotters for Formula 1

Speedcafe.com

Friday 2nd June, 2017 - 2:30pm

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Max Chilton during the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500

Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has suggested that F1 teams should adopt the oval racing practice of spotters.

Chilton finished fourth in this year’s Indianapolis 500, his best result in IndyCar so far after debuting with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016.

The Briton drove for Marussia in 2013 and 2014 and believes that the use of spotters could reduce incidents in F1.

“Now I’ve experienced the spotter, I think it’s really helpful,” said Chilton.

“In certain F1 races, it would be helpful for drivers to have a spotter.

“I know it’s not traditional in F1 and it might not happen, but it would probably reduce some of the accidents.”

Chilton suggested it could be particularly helpful for a race like the Monaco Grand Prix, when drivers have little space and find it difficult to keep an eye on cars around them during the run to the first corner.

While there have been occasions when teams are known to have offered assistance to drivers on the relative location of other cars over the radio, this is not a formalised practice in F1.

“At Monaco for example, coming into Turn 1 you don’t have time to look in your mirrors,” said Chilton.

“If you got someone viewing over you and telling you you’re clear behind, it takes the pressure off looking behind and you concentrate on in front, so it’s a safety tool as well.”

Adapting to the use of a spotter is something that was key to Fernando Alonso’s progress in preparing for his Indy 500 debut last month.