French racing driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise is to appear before an investigating judge tomorrow (Monday Jan 18) as a result of the crash in the Buenos Aires Grand Prix on January 10 in which the Italian driver Ignazio Giunti died after his Ferrari hit Beltoise's car.
SV Beltoise seated on settee
SCU Beltoise speaking (SOF IN FRENCH TO END)
TRANSCRIPT: BELTOISE: (SEQ. 2) "I think that the accident was bound to happen as it was caused by an appalling number of circumstances. I think that most drivers would have acted as I did...they would have pushed the car, they would have tried to go back to the pits...I was at the end of a rather slow bend and there was plenty of room on the road to pass. The road was quite wide and I never thought there was any danger. Anyway I had to take the car away from the middle of the road, because it was stopped in the middle. Before the accident I never felt I was personally in danger nor did I feel that I was endangering other people's safety. I shall certainly not stay for the next event because the organisers have asked me not to compete. Personally. I would not have taken the decision to refuse to compete in that event because I was committed to do so and also because I think this accident was caused by a combination of circumstances and it did not occur through my fault."
Initials JMR/PN/SGM/0520 JMR/PN/SGM/0451
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: French racing driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise is to appear before an investigating judge tomorrow (Monday Jan 18) as a result of the crash in the Buenos Aires Grand Prix on January 10 in which the Italian driver Ignazio Giunti died after his Ferrari hit Beltoise's car. At the time Beltoise was pushing his car after running out of petrol.
The judge is to decide if there is enough evidence to warrant further investigation into whether Beltoise should face charges of homicide through negligence.
Giunti died for burns after his car slammed into the Matra which the French driver was pushing along the track to the pits after running out of fuel. Today (Sunday) Beltoise, 33, was banned from competing in a Formula One race in Buenos Aires on January 24 for violating an international motor racing rule which states that a stalled car must be pushed to the side of the track immediately.
The dead driver had won the "Silver Helmet" trophy for the best Italian driver in 1966 and 1968. His colleagues in the Ferrari team are reported to be very bitter about his death.
Beltoise said yesterday (Saturday) that he did not think the accident was his fault.