JANUARY 15, 2002
Much ado about nothing
THERE have been reports in the German press that Ralf Schumacher could be in trouble because Formula 1 drivers are not allowed to wear glasses. This is total rubbish, despite the fact that the article which caused the stir quoted Professor Sid Watkins. According to the article the F1 doctor said that Ralf would have to wear contact lenses.
There is no rule which forbids a driver to wear glasses and there are several examples in recent years to back this up. Jacques Villeneuve regularly races in glasses as did Ivan Capelli. In earlier years few drivers with glasses ever made it to F1 because it was felt that pinpoint eyesight was the most important element in a driver's performance although Andrea de Adamish, for example, did get to F1 despite wearing spectacles.
The argument that glasses are more dangerous than contact lenses is also a fallacy. There is at least one case that we know of where contact lenses proved to be more damaging than glasses, when they were melted during a fire, causing the driver serious eye problems as a result. Admittedly this was a very extreme accident and the driver was lucky to survive his burns.
Ralf Schumacher is thus expected to be seen this year wearing spectacles...
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