GPDA will redouble efforts to improve safety

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association will renew its drive to improve safety in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s death.


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F1 drivers vow to honour Bianchi by improving safety (Motorsport)

"Despite considerable improvements, we, the Grand Prix drivers, owe it to the racing community, to the lost ones and to Jules, his family and friends, to never relent in improving safety."

F1 will never eliminate its inherent danger (BBC)

"The odds against him going off, in a sector of the track covered by double waved yellow flags - the most extreme form of caution before a race stoppage - and hitting a recovery vehicle must have been huge."

Losing Bianchi ‘hurts a lot’ – Prost (F1i)

"We knew the outcome would unfortunately probably be negative but still, it hurts a lot."

Chilton dedicates Lights pole to Bianchi (Autosport)

"I was his team mate for two years, and I had to have an absolutely perfect day to beat him - more often than not, he'd beat me."

Did Lewis Hamilton suffer from 'FOBO'? (The Telegraph)

"Wrong, Lewis, wrong! You would have scored some badly needed points for not taking yourself too seriously, and going with the flow."


Comment of the day

F1 Fanatic readers were united in the same sentiment yesterday:

Can’t really add anything that hasn’t already been said, but what a very sad bit of news. I had a feeling this may be coming with the recent statement from the family. Hopefully they can see this as a release for Jules, and that they can now grieve for him and find some closure rather than the hellish limbo they must have endured for the past nine months.

Goodnight Jules.

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On this day in F1

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone held 40 years ago today ended in near-farce after the field was caught out by a sudden downpour. Emerson Fittipaldi won the red-flagged race while the other four drivers in the top five – Carlos Pace, Jody Scheckter, James Hunt and Mark Donohue – had all crashed.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “GPDA will redouble efforts to improve safety”

  1. Quite heartening to see Chilton take pole position and dedicate the result to Bianchi.
    No doubt an emotionally awkward day for Max but it was a nice gesture to his old F1 team mate.

    1. I’ve heard he converted it into a win – an even nicer performance considering Bianchi generally made light work of him.

      He finally got what it takes to get it all together even if it was in a lower tier series.

      1. @atticus-2 It’s not like MC hadn’t won races in lower tier series before. He’d won multiple times in F3 and GP2. He may be a pay-driver but he’s far from useless

        His problem has always been consistency. He used to completely outperform Bianchi too. Once every 6 races or so.

        So nothing has changed. He had won once so far this season. Against a small field that’s not that great. If he starts to win consistently then it’ll be progress. Otherwise he’s the same old Max-competent lower-tier driver, not F1 material. but, yes, very good on him to admit Bianchi was better as he had done

        1. I’ve never seen him completely outperform Bianchi. I don’t know, maybe when he finished ahead Bianchi had a less smooth weekend.


          In my view, Chilton’s problem has always been Bianchi himself – he might have made Chilton look worse than he was. Chilton was never good in the first place (IMO), but maybe he wasn’t as bad as Pic, Ma Qing Hua, etc. Certainly looked like it with Bianchi as his team-mate.

          1. @atticus-2 Well there were 3-4 such weekends IIRC. All but one of them were at the beginning of 2014, when Jules as he admitted himself, had struggled to adapt to the new type of cars. Since it was his problem you can’t say he’s had a less than smooth weekend. One example was Canada 2014. Max was faster, qualified higher, then at the beginning of the race they’ve crashed with each other

            The only weekend in 2013 when Max was faster throughout without problems for Jules was strangely and eerily at Suzuka. I remember his interview with Sky afterwards, about how everything went perfect for him, how he loves the track etc.

    2. I thought that was really nice of Chilton to basically come out and admit that Bianchi was probably faster than him: you don’t see this kind of humbleness among drivers for most of the time and I think that’s a nice homage…

    3. Even better to wake up this morning and read that he won the race and did it all over again!
      Good on ya, Max.

  2. Here is the link for the onboard highlights of the 2015 British GP. Includes Hamilton saying ‘don’t worry I barely put any torque into it’ (the victory donut!)

  3. Even nicer when Chilton won and dedicated the win to Jules

  4. I’m getting really tired of these stupid articles on hamiltons fashion. I really do hope Nico starts challenging this tool a bit more or the Ferraris take the. Hallenfe to him.

    1. Hallenfe? What language is that?

      1. I think it is ‘smartphone’ for ‘challenge’ :)

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th July 2015, 7:09

      Pfft. If I were the reigning world champion, and had won more than half the races so far this year, I’d wear whatever the hell I want, and not a single eff would be given.

    3. Sorry, don’t like to criticise but I have to admit I’m a bit confused as to why there is a link to a fashion article in the roundup!

      Maybe to highlight how ridiculous it is in amongst all the other articles?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        19th July 2015, 8:18


        Agree, the round-up would’ve been better today with 1 less link.

        1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
          19th July 2015, 9:33


      2. It’s because Keith thinks it’s still a hot topic – and he’s right because we once again began a lengthy discussion on it.

      3. @john-h
        Yeah, I was amazed to see how irrelevant an article can become.
        Also, if things like these are what is on Lewis’s mind, all the more reasons for me to prefer him to shut up and drive.

      4. One possible reason is because it’s about the F1 World Champion.

    4. I’m sorry but unless your name is Mark Zuckerberg you don’t really have any grounds for criticizing another persons fashion sense.

      How we all chose to appear is faintly ridiculous when you’re honest and pragmatic about it, the whole concept of fashion has little logic. Hamiltons tastes don’t align with my own that I’ll admit, but it makes them no less abstract and pointless than my own, we’re all peacocking if we’re honest. Hamilton just doesn’t try to come across with any faux-modesty, he does what he wants and I respect him for it. The simple fact is there is no real difference between bling and discrete, it’s still trying to present a contrived image.

    5. I thought the Telegraph piece was a good bit of fun. Obviously there are one or two who’ll blame Hamilton for it, not having understood that it was someone else talking about the old story in a lighthearted way.

      I thought FOBO might be Formula On Burn Out lol.

  5. And as much as the engineers who create the cars focus on performance, I do not know a single one who would ever compromise a driver’s safety in their quest for extra speed.

    Coulthard was lucky not to have driven for Colin Chapman, who once tried to convince the stewards that corrugated cardboard was fireproof and would provide suitable protection to the driver in the event of a fire.
    As much as I’d like to think that the current designers would be more safety conscious, I suspect many of them would ignore the lessons we’ve learned over the years if the FIA removed any of the safety requirements from the rules.

  6. I cannot agree with those, who keep saying that Bianchi’s accident was an ‘unlikely’ one. If there is a wet patch on the circuit, then there is a good chance that consecutive accidents will happen there. If there are no strict yellow flag rules, then drivers will drive as fast as they can and inevitably go beyond the limit now and then. We had already seen close calls in similar situations before (Interlagos 2003, Nurburgring 2007) and one could rather expect that some day a disaster would strike.

    It is good to see that at least some lessons have been learned. For instance, some races are started earlier and a virtual safety car has been implemented. At the same time, the sport has not turned into a farce because of knee-jerk reactions.

    However, Bianchi’s accident could have been avoided and I would have much more respect for the FIA and other experts if they admitted that.

    1. I absolutely agree with you @girts. Coulthard saying the odds must have been huge (for Bianchi to end up leaving the track at the same place as Sutil) in the BBC article in the link are very frustrating and annoying. Get real mate!
      Unfortunately none of this helps Jules or the Bianchi family. They have all suffered hideously and his loved ones will continue to hurt for a long time.

      1. @arki19 Exactly, Coulthard et al. must have forgotten how Brundle had the exact same accident 20 years ago to the race, although they were fortunate that ‘only a marshal got hurt’ (hence it was ignored for driver safety). But Brundle could well have been sat where Bianchi was and he knew it.

    2. What happened is tragic, and Bianchi was, and will always remain, a star of F1.

      But we cannot discredit the FIA. 21 years is an incredible amount of time to go without something like this happening. And hopefully now, with the lessons taken from this, they can go even longer before any such event might occur. We cannot forget that, as much as they can do to make it safe, motor racing will always be dangerous.

      1. I remember something similar being said on the morning Senna died (about Ratzenberger’s death). That is my prevailing memory of that day – that no one had died for 20 years and we didn’t need to react to a freak event with additional safety measures.

        1. @sharoncom

          we didn’t need to react to a freak event with additional safety measures.

          And interestingly the immediate reaction to Imola 1994 nearly killed Pedro Lamy as the rear wing failure that caused his accident at Silverstone was by all accounts caused due to the knee-jerk safety changes that had not been properly thought through before been rushed onto the cars.

        2. @sharoncom Indeed, and it had only been 12 years, and 8 from a death in testing. Long enough for complacency to set in. Here, de Villota’s accident wasn’t learned from and hence Bianchi’s, which are in effect the same accident in testing and a race.

          In another 30 years, F1 will ‘finally be safe’, yet complacency will set in again and something will invariably happen where safety was ignored (maybe for monetary or show reasons, or co-incidence from being open-seater e.g. Spa 2012).

          1. @fastiesty, it was indeed the same accident not only because they both involved driving under a heavy vehicle, but because in both cases the racecar was fighting the drivers attempts to stop it, Kimi R suffered a couple of instances of “unintended acceleration” in corners which fortunately only resulted in spinning off track. I suspect a “drive by wire” problem is responsible, I hope the FIA are following a line of inquiry on this aspect and hope they find and fix the problem before any other people are injured.

    3. Yep @girts, the way the FIA Panel dismissed the role of the crane, and have since kept unmodified cranes moving about trackside with cars circulating, is a wrong.

      And yes it’s all too obvious that where one car can aquaplane off, another can too, so the WORST thing is to send the crane out while the track is in that condition.

      Because @strontium sometimes all they need is a rope, to keep the crane behind the barrier, but Rule 1 for the panel – which was stuffed with FIA cronies – was to exonerate the FIA, which meant blaming the victim.

  7. More should have been made of Hamilton saying not only is he not interested in driving at le mans, but that he has never even watched it. Never?? This is Hamilton.

  8. I think he has a massive ego and all of this goes to feed it. He appreciates the fans, yes, cuz they feed his ego. Makes music to do the same. Takes selfies and actually takes the time to give it an effect to highlight his diamond earrings. This Wimbledon episode. Its all very telling.

  9. He can drive and I was rooting for him up until mid last year. Just got sick of him.

    1. What are you gonna do when he’s Sir Lewis Hamilton?

  10. Seems GPDA is not on the same page as Ecclestone, Lauda and others who want to make F1 more dangerous. Seems they just don’t get it.

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