Safety Car, Suzuka, 2014

Perez demands changes to Safety Car use

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Safety Car, Suzuka, 2014In the round-up: Sergio Perez says the Safety Car should be deployed in future instances where a car is being moved by a recovery vehicle, following Jules Bianchi’s crash in the Japanese Grand Prix.

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Bianchi crash ‘totally unacceptable’ (BBC)

Sergio Perez: “In the future when there is a tractor coming up to pick up the car, we need a safety car, no matter what the conditions.”

Angry drivers want answers after Bianchi crash (The Telegraph)

Max Chilton, the Frenchman’s team-mate of nearly two seasons, was not available for his usual media session on Thursday, and is deeply upset by the severity of the 25-year-old’s condition after he hit a recovery tractor at high speed.”

Vergne: I have to race for Jules (Crash)

“You can question yourself, what’s the point of trying to fight with each other this weekend? Trying to fight for the last point or the last tenth or whatever… but the only answer that I found is that I have to do it for Jules.”

F1 drivers seek respite on track (Reuters)

Nico Rosberg: “When I get into that car I close my visor and just put everything aside as always. All thoughts and all emotions and just fully focus on the job in hand and that’s what I’ll try and do again this weekend.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2014Nico Rosberg Q&A: It’s win or bust from here in (F1)

“As a team we had the wrong set-up on the car for the intermediates – we had big degradation. Red Bull were quicker than us on intermediates. We had a lot of oversteer and my conclusion is that I struggled more than my team mate did.”

Nico Rosberg column (Daily Mail)

“Of course, the title could be decided on the new double points ruling which is completely artificial and strange to have such importance for one race, but I guess now that I am behind, it is a good thing.”

Engine freeze rule set for crunch vote (Autosport)

Marco Mattiacci: “Looking at it from the small teams’ perspective, if I have the possibility to deliver a more performing engine to them, then they have the opportunity to score more points and gain revenue.”

Lewis ‘100% committed’ to Merc (Sky)

Niki Lauda: “With Lewis now we’re negotiating to renew his contract after 2015. For two or three years. We’re just talking to him how long does he do.”

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Comment of the day

@Colossal-Squid on the political controversies which have accompanied several recent major sporting events, of which this weekend’s race is the latest example.

Look at the Olympics in Beijing, the World Cup in Brazil, The Winter Olympics in Sochi and of course the fiasco with FIFA in Qatar to see that there is a strong political undercurrent driving each of these cities or countries hosting such massive events.

Any anger at such events should be directed at the powers in charge – CVC, Bernie and the FIA, and not the performers themselves. It’s also important not to allow the actions of a state such as Russia to colour our view of the people who live there. The actions of an elite few who do not speak for the people of Russia who are like you and me should not be held against the many peace loving people found in this country that may benefit (economically, culturally, socially) from having such events take place there.

As such while I can be critical of the organisers, I cannot find myself being critical of the spectators, marshals, the team employees or the drivers who will take part in the weekend.
@Colossal-Squid

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On this day in F1

Today in 1994 Larrousse confirmed Hideki Noda would contest the final three races of the season for them in the seat which had originally been occupied by Olivier Beretta.

And ten years ago today Michael Schumacher achieved a new record for most F1 races wins in a season, scoring his 13th of the 2004 campaign in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Here are his final two laps:

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  • 70 comments on “Perez demands changes to Safety Car use”

    1. I’m all but certain that the engine freeze won’t be lifted next year, as that would open the flood gates for expensive development on the engines. Mercedes, who will have to agree to the lift for it to be enacted, will use this as a reason to vote, as they want to retain the advantage that they have rightfully gained by working harder and better than anyone else.

      1. Hm, it all depends on Bernie and Ron really. Lets see who votes in the Strategic group thing:
        Ferrari and Red Bull are more likely to vote in favour of this change (2 votes pro). Mercedes, Williams and Lotus are quite unlikely to be in favour (because they have the best engine) – 3 Votes against. I’d say the FIA is clearly not going to be in favour, making it a total of 9 against, so if Bernie is in favour and McLaren is in favour, it means a stalemate. If Ron is not in favour (because he has info on whether it will help Honda or not), then the vote is going to be stacked against.

        1. Bernie will surely be capable of swinging the FIA

    2. Does anyone genuinely think that Lewis won’t be at Mercedes next year? He would have to pay £15m-£20m to Mercedes to annul his 2015 contract, abandon the team which has given him his most succesful season yet and abandon the preeminent engine supplier that has powered every one of his victories in order to return to the team where he felt constricted and the one who offered him a pay cut two years; the same team which he has outscored single-handedly in terms of wins, podia and points since his departure.

      Plausible?

      1. No… but all that assumes he would be the one wanting to leave.

        Flip it to Merc wanting him gone, and suddenly it acquires a hint of ‘might happen’. Couldn’t say how much of a hint, but…

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          10th October 2014, 1:12

          Can’t see why Mercedes would want him gone.
          He’s won 8 races this year and when the car hasn’t broken on him, he’s been on the podium at every race, and is now leading the WDC.

          1. In their shoes, I wouldn’t want him gone either. But Alonso is hanging around and it’s no secret Merc don’t have the most friendly driver pairing on the grid, which has led to some dreadful PR this year.

            So I can’t entirely ignore the possibility they might try to bump him out of the door to hire Alonso.

            1. So the team which has won 80% of the races and in the midst of its most succesful contemporary season is going to break up the partnership, spending an 8-digit sum to fire the more successful one an hire a guy who cost another team a 9-digit sum penalty in the name of increased amity? Logic.

            2. “It’s no secret Merc don’t have the most friendly driver pairing on the grid, which has led to some dreadful PR this year.”

              The only incident which led to dreadful PR was when Rosberg bumped Hamilton out of the Belgian Grand Prix. By your reasoning, isn’t it just as, if not more, reasonable to suggest they’d bump Rosberg out of the door to hire Alonso? And what makes you think an Alonso-Rosberg pairing would be any rosier?

              Mercedes are definitely not looking to ditch either driver for the foreseeable.

            3. I do think Alonso-Rosberg would probably be rosier because I can’t see Rosberg posing as much of a challenge to Alonso as he has to Hamilton.

              And yes they could ditch Nico, but from my understanding of the contractual situation he’d cost a little bit more and I can’t see them wanting Alo-Ham together. Alo-Ros, risky but might work. Alo-Ham, massive risk.

              Of course I don’t think it’s ‘likely’ to happen, but as I said… I don’t think such a scenario can be entirely dismissed. Until everyone is in place, we can’t be 100% sure about anything.

            4. “I do think Alonso-Rosberg would probably be rosier because I can’t see Rosberg posing as much of a challenge to Alonso as he has to Hamilton. ”

              I really can’t believe people such as yourself right such things. It’s like nobody has a memory of 2007. Where a rookie took on a 2 time world Champion and BEAT him. People’s memory are a fickle thing as it seems they only work when it serves their agenda.

              Simply baffling. But whatever :)

            5. Lol, can you imagine the team if Rosberg had cheated Alonso? Twice! It would’ve been a war zone.

              Nando is at best no faster than Lewis and has just fallen out with another team. You must be crazy if you think Merc would swap.

            6. @ Jason If you think I have some sort of agenda, you’re very wrong. And if it baffles you that someone thinks Alonso is the best driver…

              My opinion on the best current driver (not the fastest, the best – I think Hamilton is the quickest) is based on now, not 2007. Back in the mid-2000s, and when he partnered Hamilton, I didn’t rate Alonso as highly as Raikkonen. I remember 2007 well, and distinctly recall discussing the Ham-Alo McLaren partnership before the season with a friend. He said Alonso would end Hamilton’s career in its first season. I said it was more likely Hamilton would stuff up Alonso’s.

              Anyway, since then Alonso has developed into a far more complete driver. I don’t think Hamilton has developed as much, and I’m far from alone in having that view.

        2. Okay, in the Mercedes wants Lewis out scenario. If they want to annul his contract, they would have to buy him out and Lewis would have no reason not to accept the maximum amount (à la Kimi in 2009 for the Scuderia). This payoff would offset any gain from hiring a cheaper driver.

          Why would they want to get rid of someone who has won more than 50% of the races in the year and is yet to finish off the podium this season?

          Who could they hire that would give the same brand exposure as Lewis does?

          It seems implausible from either party to want to leave the other when it is currently so mutually fruitful.

        3. Why I think Lewis will be there beyond 2015:

          1. Mercedes has the best car and Lewis wants to be a multiple WDC.

          2. Niki Lauda.

          3. Lewis Hamilton is the kind of personality a global brand like Mercedes wants to market their products.

          4. He’s a great driver and there’s no driver in F1 who can give Mercedes more than what Lewis gives them. Some can give the same but more? I can’t see anybody.

          1. Agreed @JCost
            I have said for a while Lewis is overrated, but more accurately what I mean he has under-achieved compared to his ability, it hard to believe he has only won the one WDC.

            If I were Mercedes I would not replace Lewis with Fernando – its better the devil you know! Lewis and Nico are strained but the lads have it covered it seems so why bring in Alonso that has had his way for a long time to disrupt things?

            I guess the question is can ALO deliver more than HAM?

      2. @kodongo I do not see it happening in 2015. You have to be mad to leave the best team, while you have not won a single DWC with them yet (or even when you have won the first DWC together). The only thing that could trigger such a move would be a serious fallout with the team or the team mate but I see no signs of that at the moment.

        As for 2016, anything could happen but I still believe that Hamilton will stay with Mercedes at least until 2017. Red Bull have their own drivers and currently there are many questions over McLaren’s and Ferrari’s ability to get back to the top.

      3. I’m positive he’s leaving for about 2 months now.

    3. I can understand why F1Fanatic hasn’t done “Rate the Race” but why haven’t they done DOTW?

    4. Happy to add +100 to Mr Squids worthy COTD,

      Lets enjoy the race :)

      Lets send Hope for Jules :) :)

      Lets continue the chant for a sensible change that will make this the last accident of its kind :)

      To all F1F’s
      If we really feel the need to get in someones ear about the political situation , then maybe a petition at change.dot.org or SumOfUs.dot.org sent to the FIA or such ,

      Well said @colossal-squid

    5. If we didn’t have GP’s in countries that were up to no good there wouldn’t be many GP’s. I don’t like some of things the Russian government are doing but then I don’t like some things my own (UK) government are doing, or the US, Chinese, Qatari or many other host nation governments do either.
      What I do like is getting to find out about other nations and other people and F1 is a great way of doing that, I’ve got to know several people through motorsport and on this site who live on the other side of the world and the more new countries F1 visits, the more people will be exposed to F1 making it more likely that we may get to know them and become friends with them.
      I am glad F1 is in Russia, regardless of politics or finances behind it. I hope the Russian people enjoy the weekend and give us a race to remember, for all the right reasons, and that F1 can be a force for good and help bring us all together.

    6. The call for a safety car is a misguided knee jerk reaction from a driver likely to benefit from a safety car bringing him closer to the leader.
      There is absolutely no need for a safety car except in the case of marshalls actually working on the track itself when they need 90 second gaps in the traffic, for all other situations it is only necessary for the cars in the vicinity (yellow flag area) to drive at safety car or pitlane speeds, race control can monitor data from each car in the yellow flag area and BLACKFLAG any transgressors, ideally a device like the pitlane limiter can be designed into next years cars for this purpose, in the meantime the pitlane limiter itself should suffice.

      1. @hohum One of the many aspects of F1 that I’ve admired over the years is the fact that a stranded car, and/or debris, is often (and usually quite safely) removed from the track without calling for a safety car. Here in the US, Indycar and Nascar regularly throw out the full-course yellow if someone so much as sneezes, and their safety record over the last twenty years pales in comparison. That said, Bianchi’s tragic accident in Japan showed us quite graphically that work towards improving driver (and marshal) safety is never done, and F1 needs to make some changes. As you suggested, a mandated pit lane speed through yellow flag areas would seem to be a good place to start, and could presumably be implemented quickly and fairly easily.

        1. 1. ANY risk to marshals being struck by cars on a hot track or from improper deployment of cranes or tractors is unacceptable.
          2. ANY risk to drivers from extraction equipment is not sporting risk from which they are protected by designed equipment and practice, and therefore is unacceptable.
          3. “Usually quite safely” does not cut it when referring to non-sporting risk. Ask anyone’s family. Ask Jules’ family.
          4. You can’t compare safety risk of oval racing with walls at consistent 200+mph speeds to road course racing with many slow corners– it’s not apples to apples.
          5. I can tell you that as a driver I was immensely grateful for the automatic, no-nonsense way race control in the US would never allow safety equipment on a hot track until the field was neutralised, both when I was the one that was off, and when I was still circulating. The disabled car is at significant risk from cars following him off the track because they’re looking at it as they come upon the scene. “The car goes where the eyes go.” If you even so much as glance at an unexpected sight off to the outside of a corner while traveling at speed, the involuntary sympathetic movement of the steering wheel will unbalance the car and reduce control, even for an experienced driver. That may have played a role in Jules losing control of his car. MAKE the cars slow enough, and this won’t result in them losing control.
          6. The whole reason why improving driver and marshal safety is not yet done is exactly because there is no automatic, systematic procedure for hot track extractions. I don’t care what method you choose, but the field must be effectively neutralised before fragile humans and multiton trucks come inside the barriers. Otherwise you’re just playing Russian roulette with people’s lives, holding your breath that you’ll get away with it, to avoid inconveniencing your own pleasure.

          1. @slowhands,cc@bascb, Slowhands, please understand that the functions of the safety-car are twofold.

            1. Bunch the cars up so that all cars pass through the yellow area at the same time causing there to be a time with no traffic until the safety car leads them around again.
            2. Slow the cars down to a safe speed.

            Function 1. makes it safe for marshalls to work on and alongside the track during the time after the last car passes and the safety car leads the cars around again.
            Function 2. is a by-product of function 1 and allows the marshalls to work OFF track in the run-off areas, exactly as yellow flags are supposed to. Function 2 does not require the safety car to physically be on the track to slow the cars to a safe speed, there are other ways to do this, eg pitlane speed limiter, so unless there is a need for function 1, it is a pointless disruption to the racing to deploy a car to slow the cars down all around the track when only function 2 (slowing the cars to safe speed) is required at 1 small section of the track. To argue otherwise is to allow sentiment to triumph over reason.

            1. @hohum I agree. Find the best method. It may not be the safety car. My only point is that the field must be controlled.

          2. @slowhands – As a driver, a safety car every time a car needs to be removed from the track is great but as a fan, I cannot watch american motorsport because it’s pointless. The last 5 minutes are great but the rest is just a lottery. Protect your tyre and save fuel for as long as possible and wait for someone to crash. Just make sure your in it towards the end and you’ve got a good chance of winning. Building a gap is wasting tyres/fuel.

            Clearly something needs to be done but safety cars aren’t the answer. Slow zones are where by speed limiters are automatically kicked in when a double yellow is shown. The driver have no option because the limiter kicks in and it’s done for them. The cars wouldn’t bunch up so the race wouldnt’ be spoiled but it would be safe to extract cars.

            1. @petebaldwin Most of your complaints against American motorsport have to do with things other than safety. And I agree with those points. I am a fan of flat out racing. When fuel and tires become the predominant concern, I lose interest. Racing is not about conservation.

              Notice that I am not advocating for the safety car per se as the best solution– it may not be– just the scientific point that the field must be controlled externally IN SOME WAY when people or equipment are in harm’s way. You can’t leave it to the drivers– everything else in their conditioning tells them to slow as little as possible. As someone else has astutely noted, they are in a Prisoners’ Dilemma of sorts.

      2. I think a SC is called for in some situations, maybe Japan would have been one of them, esp. because of the combination of increasing rain, falling light and drivers out on worn inters @hohum. But to take it as a general rule that stricken car = SC would be completely overdoing it.

        A bit sad that instead of a driver like Perez understanding that the idea of “only lifting for a tenth or two” in a sector with double waved flags is where it starts going wrong, we get a call for a SC in all such situations. Sure, drivers are going to be driving as fast as possible. But if the FIA had clearly acted on what this rule says, like you mention, its far less likely to see another accident like this occur.

      3. And the driver who wants the safety car also says drivers don’t slow for yellows. How about this? Slow for the yellows. Done.

    7. Unless Lewis has a retirement in the next couple races, Nico looks beat to me. Since Spa, he’s seemed a little deflated. Last week in Japan he was properly thrashed, that has to have some mental effect on him.

      Lewis is in his “happy place” right now, but as we all know, he is prone to having one of his implosions every now and again…highly unlikely at this stage, but you never know.

      If you were a betting person..Lewis to win the title, quite certainly.

      1. All things being equal it does seem like you are right. This is NR’s first chance at a WDC and it’s going to be exciting to see how he does. LH has faltered at times fighting for the WDC and barely squeaked out the one he owns, but it doesn’t feel to me like that will happen this year. But for now it’s one race at a time. Some drastic points swing in Russia could change the feel again for the last 3 races.

    8. Im Mexican and Perez fan, but i think hes wrong… drivers should obey Yellow flags and slow down. no one does, thats the cause of Jules accident, not the Safety Car.

      1. I disagree. People do what they have incentive to do. They have incentive not to slow down. If you want to make it safer, you have to take away their ability to or benefit from staying fast

        1. Not really. If the FIA would punish drivers for clearly not doing what the intent of double waved yellows is, every driver would get a strong warning from his team to slow down to a stroll @chaddy.

          1. @chaddy & @bascb – the problem is that whilst this is in the control of an adrenaline-fuled driver whose job is to maximise every fraction of a second they can, their focus will be on how fast they can get away with instead of safety.

            The only solution that puts safety first but won’t destroy races is a “double yellow limiter” that they have to press or that cuts in automatically. That way they have no option but to slow to a designated speed through that zone.

            1. The FIA can declare a speed they deem safe (say 80 kmh) today and have it count tomorrow. Telemetry is live and we’ve already seen in the past that the FIA can use it for penalizing drivers @petebaldwin.
              Some kind of technological solution would be fine by me, but until that is brought in (say from next season onwards) this is quite possible to do

      2. The only stable solution is to somehow make the suboptimal equilibrium in which everyone goes fast inferior to the ideal equilibrium in which everyone goes at a safe speed. Easier said than done though

        1. @chaddy, it’s not rocket science to enforce an actual speed limit for every driver in the yellow flag zones, race control has everything needed already.

          1. @HoHum Totally agree its called the delta that every car has to drive to when the SC first comes out. This can/should be implemented during the sector the incident occurs or for the whole track even if the SC is not called

      3. I agree with you, Perez is being rash and I don´t think having a SC every time a car goes off is the answer.

    9. I am going to paste what I posted on Dr.Gary Hartstein’s blog earlier today. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not think I am being insensitive or d
      isrespectful to Bianchi when I say this. I am truly heartbroken about what happened to him… it is in response to Perez comments…

      “Totally agree with you Gary. I really do not want to come across as insensitive but while everyone is blaming the FIA and FOM and anyone else they can think of, nobody is looking at the role Bianchi played in the horrific accident. Many of us have seen the video and it is clear that he has not heeded the yellows. I would be very interested to see his speed trace from the lap before the crash compared to the lap of the crash…I very much doubt that there would be a lift that shows he was prepared to stop.
      Personally I think the WEC slow zones are perfect because they force the drivers to curb their natural desire to get through as fast as possible and it doesn’t involve the use of the safety car for every incident.”

      1. @eoin16, thoroughly agree, we must not let emotion cloud our judgement, absolutely nothing is gained by having the cars go slow for the unaffected (green) majority of the circuit and it should not be necessary to have a slower car on track to slow the drivers through the affected (yellow flagged) minority portion of the track.

      2. Haven´t seem this article here http://www.f1reports.com/article/25095-f1-withholding-video-to-protect-bianchi-report

        Schmidt claims the official footage shows that the Marussia driver lost control of his car after “driving too fast under yellow flags”.

        “F1 is not protecting itself, but Jules Bianchi himself. The footage of the accident and the telemetry data may prove that it was the driver to blame,” he added.

        Schmidt quoted an F1 official as saying: “It (releasing the information) would be unfair to Bianchi, because he cannot defend himself at the moment.”

        1. Yes, its pretty clear that a majority of drivers are slowing down only as little as they can get away with @celeste, @eoin16, @hohum. The drivers themselves should take responsibility for their behaviour and the FIA can and should do more to enforce the rules IMO.

          1. Sadly things like this has to happen before people remember that rules are there for a reason. Respect of flags are fundamental for drivers, marshals and public to be safe.

      3. @eoin16 Of course, Bianchi most likely underestimated the conditions and went too fast but Sutil obviously did the same and I believe that the other drivers acknowledge that each of them could have been in Bianchi’s place. Drivers were pushing the limits in the 70s when the risks were much more significant and they keep doing that today. That is what safety standards are for.

        The drivers’ failure to follow the spirit of the yellow flag rules (if there is such a thing) is an issue but nothing suggests that other drivers were driving significantly slower than Bianchi. And if everyone ignores a rule, then there is a problem with that rule.

        I totally agree with you on this: “Personally I think the WEC slow zones are perfect because they force the drivers to curb their natural desire to get through as fast as possible and it doesn’t involve the use of the safety car for every incident.”

        1. Actually you can play a little with the lap times chart to se if true

          1. @celeste Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately we cannot draw many conclusions from that, mostly because we do not know how fast Bianchi was on his 42nd lap when the accident happened and the previous lap is no indication as he was ahead of Sutil when the latter spun off.

            As for the leaders’ times on lap 43 (as I understand, double waved yellows were shown then because of Sutil’s crash), they do not seem to have been “prepared to stop”. Rosberg’s lap time was 1.2s slower, Hamilton went 0.8s slower, Vettel slowed down by 0.6s and Ricciardo even went 0.2s faster, compared to the previous lap. However, we do not know the sector times and the weather conditions were getting worse so it is not clear what part of the change in lap times (if any) was because of drivers paying attention to yellow flags.

    10. Judging by the PU usage chart, most drivers will eventually fall foul of it. Should’ve made the limit of units 7, not 6.

      1. It doesn’t account for teams having moved onto the next PU while the previous one still has life in it. Using 5 isn’t the same as having expired the preceding 4.

    11. “In the future when there is a tractor coming up to pick up the car, we need a safety car, no matter what the conditions.”

      There’s the kneejerk. If we get a safety car for ever single small incident, we’ll end up with more SC situations than IndyCar. The race will feel heavily interrupted and I don’t think that’s what we want. And of course, in three years’ time, fans will start complaining that every time a tractor picks up a car in a location far away from the actual circuit, the FIA throws in a SC. All I’m saying that if you want to make changes to benefit safety, they should be well thought through, and not originate from this one very specific incident (so closed cockpits is something worth investigating, tractors in run-off areas has never been much of a problem so why spend so much time investigating it?). What’s next, safety cars for every bit of gravel that gets thrown onto the track?

      1. @andae23 I agree, common sense should be used here. I still believe that a safety car should have been deployed twice in the German GP this year but not every incident requires the use of it. At the moment, I tend to think that more Monaco-style cranes (instead of tractors) and certain speed limits under yellow flags would be the best solution but, as you say, all changes should be well thought through.

      2. Agree with you. The trouble is, you can’t argue with people trumping the discussion with demands for maximum safety. When someone says, “A marshal or a driver being at risk is never acceptable” you end up sounding evil if you say anything other than, “Yes! It’s the safety car, we need the safety car! Always more safety car please! And while we’re at it, safety car should stay out for at least the first five laps of every race and at random intervals in the race ‘just to calm everyone down'”.

        1. @f1bobby Exactly, people don’t understand that there’s an upper limit on safety, i.e. at some point making it even safer doesn’t do the sport any good.

        2. @f1bobby @andae23 We must be sure we don’t confuse different kinds of safety and risk. To me, formula car racing is a unique sport, the uniqueness due to open wheels and open cockpits. It exists because the feeling of racing these cars on the limit with the wind buffeting you and vision unencumbered by a roof, windshield and roof pillars, overtaking without interlocking wheels, and making it to the end is NOT safe and thus requires anticipation, precision, and bravery unmatched in other sports. The price for a mistake is very high, so we admire these men and women because it is obvious how much skill and mental strength it takes to excel under these narrow margins for error. And the ones who can take the greatest risks and still dance on the edge of the razor make us gasp in awe. I don’t want to see the formula lose this essence. This is the risk that should not be sanitized out of the sport and that drivers and their families should expect and understand. A closed cockpit would change this traditional essence and I’m not for it. There’s nothing “evil” about wanting to watch and admire people challenging this level of risk. That one can fail and die makes us understand the extraordinary passion and commitment the sport requires.

          But IMO risk while clearing an incident which results from the risk of the sport is not part of that inherent risk, nor should it be. IMO we should do everything humanly possible to reduce the risk to safety workers and to drivers from safety equipment. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I find no joy seeing marshals carried off or drivers being decapitated by tractors. That to me is akin to Rollerball, of which I personally want no part. Of course, it is up to the participants to decide how they feel about this. But I believe on this most participants would agree with me.

    12. Little wonder the drivers are angry and/looking for answers. It is bad enough when one of them is injured but Bianchi’s crash was totally avoidable.
      That tractor should NEVER have been where it was – The wet conditions, darkness closing in, the fact that somebody had already aquaplaned off in that exact location (suggesting a build up of water and therefore a much higher likelihood that it will happen to somebody else – and we’ve all seen it happen) and the knowledge that the corner involved has minimal run off area all point squarely to the idea that a tractor/recovery vehicle should not have been deployed without the Safety Car. I view this incident as a total fail by the bodies that govern safety.
      Jules is never going to be the same again and his accident was totally preventable.

      1. Why bring out the safety car and reduce the pace on the green sections of the track when the FIA could just impose speed limits through the yellow section. SC is the obvious ‘solution’ but it’s by far the ugliest from both a sporting and spectating point of view.

      2. The wet conditions, darkness closing in, the fact that somebody had already aquaplaned off in that exact location and the knowledge that the corner involved has minimal run off area all point squarely to the idea that the drivers should have heeded the yellow flags

        There, fixed that for you.

        1. Exactly, we could also say “the fact that 20 cars HAD NOT aquaplaned off”

    13. Maybe it’s an optical (or acoustic) illusion, but that 2004 on-board looks so much faster than today’s.

      1. @ironcito
        Watching that video is like watching a found footage horror movie, with all the random frames spliced in, time skips and weird noises :P.

        At first I was thinking ‘yes this is what F1 should sound like’, then after about a minute the noise was starting to grate (obviously it sounds richer in reality but it’s still a bit synthetic sounding). While those cars were like a computer game with the sounds and level of grip, the current F1 cars seem more like actual cars to me, which I think I prefer. If they put proper tyres on them they probably wouldn’t be far off on laptime either.

    14. From that Rosberg interview, the best part to me is this:

      Q: You grow your own vegetables. Is the ‘slow life’ of watching them grow a counterbalance for the hectic life of an F1 driver?
      NR: No, I don’t need that contrast. It’s just the joy to live a healthy life. My wife Vivienne is an amazing cook, and it is so cool to go together in the veggie garden, pick what we want and make incredible food from self-grown produce.

    15. Kneejerk reaction from Perez; got to be a better way (e.g. enforced maximum speed through a sector) rather than a Safety Car killing the flow of the race and ruining hard-earned gaps.

    16. News just in: F1 drivers caps are to be replaced by hard-hats and hi-vis jackets when they are walking through the paddock area in a bid to promote safety.

    17. I’m amazed that Vettel still has no power unit penalties. After five races it looked very bad for him already!

    18. With regards to roll-cage, head protection, closed cockpits, Peter windsow and Craig Scarborough discuss something quite relevant about the changes made for season ’96 that carried through until today, and would the more safe interpretration have been kept on, might have already done a lot to further protect drivers:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXAzGoQUYAM&feature=youtu.be

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