Historic F1 racer dies following crash at Zandvoort

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Historic F1 car racer David Ferrer died yesterday following a crash at last weekend’s round at Zandvoort.

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F1 is a money pit. The cash available is not shared properly and there is a serious risk of not getting a penny if you are last. The audiences are shrinking and new fans cannot be created as the asking price to see F1 is way too high. Porsche is insane to seek to join F1, I guess they have too much money and need to lose some for tax purposes.

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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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61 comments on “Historic F1 racer dies following crash at Zandvoort”

  1. It’s almost as if Gene Haas didn’t think through his comments about the F1 pay structure a few months back

    1. Why is Will Buxton saying that? Commentating over statements and scolding a team owner as if Will comments aren’t anything but suggestive, he’s not a team owner.
      Honestly in the end the new ideas will drive f1 to become LMP1, 1 or 2 manufacturers, and the rest of the grid running the same chassis and no chance of victory.

    2. Actually Dan, @peartree, what Buxton mentions is that Gene Haas indeed does contradict some things that he said himself not too long ago. But he concludes from that that there are 2 lines of thought that are conflicting WITHIN Haas himself.
      The business one, where he is getting a lot of attention for his Haas brand worth the money being put in, and then the sporting one where he feels a small team is unlikely to ever be winning and fees upset about it as a sportsman.

      I think Buxtom might be neglecting a third thing at play – when Haas mentioned how he feels the bigger teams deserve a bigger budget etc, and the remarks about Ferrari, to me that just shows he is dependant on Ferrari so has to sing their song. The same goes for Sauber, who have often had to vote against their own best interest at the behest of Ferrari (off course we have seen that with other engine manufacturers as well, it’t not just Ferrari).

      I am sure that cutting budgets and finding a medium between unlimited development and cost and a de facto spec series is possible. And it does have to happen to prevent risking the long term future – see LMP1 where manufacturers decided that is just was not worth the effort and money put in.

      1. @bascb I read the article. Neglecting, perhaps not the right word for this a sporting problem. I’m sure Haas is aware of the plight of f1 rule makers, usual problems, the rule makers get lobbied and fooled by the money teams, the rule makers propose bad rules that end up effectively voted by the manufacturers (and RBR) alone.
        Ferrari, the one with the rather undemocratic veto, has, ironically, saved f1 of that unrealistic PU cap that would have led most manufacturers away from f1.

        I’m sure Haas knows the lack of a proper vote affects the sporting perspective, I’m sure he rues the lack of an actual feasible proposition, there haven’t been good propositions, just look at the current set of regulations, cost cutting was in everyone’s minds and f1 ended up with an even more expensive formula.

        All Manufacturers leaving Le Mans is part of their cycle, a cycle of self destruction I might add, I’d hate to see f1 like that, that’s why I mention Le Mans often. After Le Mans gets abandoned they come up with good fair regulations and when someone wants Le Mans back the rule makers turn it into a money driven show again and again.

        F1 is not fair but with these 3 big forces going against each other, we at least get some competition between them, on and off the racetrack. Back in the day, it used to be Porsche who benefited from manufacturers leaving, curious to see that this time around it is Porsche with the big money manufacturers leaving Le Mans to the highest bidder.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th September 2017, 12:53

      In many ways F1 is much like any other sport. When a team joins La Liga or Champions League, there’s really not much chance they’ll win the championship. Unlike those sports, there is the slight possibility that they could win. F1 unfortunately has less of an element of chance. Even a podium from one of the lower teams is very unlikely.

      That being said, Haas is currently a little bit behind Toro Rosso and ahead of Renault, McLaren, and Sauber. That is a monumental achievement by the team and personally I think more impressive than Mercedes’ performance.

      I wonder if F1 could add a new smaller championship like the FA cup that’s 2-3 races (endurance or team races) where other constructors stand a better chance of winning it.

  2. Why do they still run those cars if they’re still death traps? Why are they being hypocrites about safety?

    1. Halo on all historic cars as of 2019..

    2. @skrabble Some people like real racing.

  3. – Mr. Ferrer or Ferrari

    – Zolder or Zandvoort

    Come on, proofreading much?

    Historic GP was last weekend in Zandvoort, Holland. Not in Zolder, Belgium…

    #typo #rip #motorsportisdangerous

    1. Fair point but Keith works extremely hard. I’d cut him some slack, it’s not common for him to make such mistakes.

      1. +1000000000000000

        “| 8th September 2017, 0:01”
        Keith is like a milkman. Delivering fresh mil… I mean delivering fresh motorsport news before we wake up for us to enjoy during breakfast.

      2. it’s not common for him to make such mistakes

        No offence to Keith but at least every other article he produces has some error in it.

    2. Very sorry, that’s a couple of stupid mistakes both of which should have been spotted.

      1. Your efforts are valued.

    3. On the flip side the number of times I see ‘there’ used instead of ‘their’ in the comments on this site and across the internet in general is depressing.

      1. I’ve worked that one out, as well as braking and breaking. The reason is the shift to portable devices and ‘smartphone zombies’ using, and not checking, predictive text.

      2. this is probably because not all member are native English speakers

        (at least I hope for them)

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          8th September 2017, 10:23

          English is not there naive language.

          1. I mean, there naive

          2. Native? but i learned my english from watching cartoons on the DJ Cat show so you could tell me what is wrong or right all the time.

      3. It’s not there fault. Their, were they live, English isn’t the native’s dialect

        1. Haha, okey, that’s enough guys :D

    4. I follow this site and @keithcollantine ‘s work because everything is smaller, more human, intimate. These are errors that even big names in motorsports journalism make: the difference here is that you can just make a comment and help the site stay as it is, a large family of passionate people. If you feel the urge to pretend hyper-professionalism, maybe you need to search for another place, although I’m not very sure you’ll find a lot of proofread content online. Let’s also not forget that here we all have prime quality content, data, photos and I can’t remember anyone asking me for money.

  4. Wow, this blows my mind. It was today that I watched footage from a historic race at Laguna Seca, where they were running 70’/80’s cars.
    The guy drove a 1979 Ferrari and I thought to myself watching the oboard footage “How can they be driving those with visibly no safety modifications to secure the drivers’ in those pathetically fragile cockpits?!?”, and then I thought “Maybe there’s regularly a lethal crash that we just don’t get to hear about or sth….?”

    And then I see the headline of your article….

    1. The cars as far as I know are not raced exactly as they raced in the 60s and 70s. The cars now have safety fuel cells, onboard fire extinguishers and the drivers are wearing modern safety suits. I don’t know if the chassis is modified in any way though. I’d guess rollbars are different but other than that the cars are the same. I’d imagine some people would not even want to alter anything because they want to preserver the cars, not modify them

      1. Remember that cars up to the mid eighties had drivers legs right into the nose, between the suspension, so they could get easily stuck in case it bent (or have their legs ripped off in some angles). Also side impact, cockpit structural strength, roll bars etc are way down @socksolid, @damon.

        I must say those thoughts have occured to me too when I saw them racing. I do think they never race to the fullest, but this sadly shows how risky it can be.

        1. The old cars definitely are really bad for the feet when you crash. The carbon monococque cars from the 80s are a lot safer because the carbon monococques are much tougher compared to aluminium honeycomb but carbon cars also need to be checked for cracks. Also car to car contact in these old cars very dangerous because lot of the cockpit walls are not strong enough to resist penetration. Newer cars are crash tested from all direction so that issue has been solved too.

      2. @socksolid, I took having fuel cells for granted. Additional roll bars are installed on the cars from the 60s and older, which often times had none to speak of.
        But with the beastly cars from 70’s and 80’s, apart from drivers wearing modern helmets, there seems to be no additional safety devices to help you in an actual crash. A fire extinguisher nor a safety suit won’t help you when your legs have been mangled from a mildest of impacts against a wall (even a wall of tyres) or another car.

        I do think they never race to the fullest, but this sadly shows how risky it can be.

        They don’t, @bascb. But unfortunately, if you crash into a wall going 200kph, the notion that you could’ve been going 250kph if you raced hard doesn’t make your day any better.

        I have actually wondered about that problem each time I saw current or retired F1 stars (like Hakkinen, Hamilton etc.) drive such an oldie. And they often go at it as well. It’s weird they let them.
        Obviously, it’d be hard for me to be against it, they are pros after all, and the tracks are so safe these days. But at least reinforce the cockpit and the leg compartment! And I’ve seen none of that.

        1. The problem is that not only the cars are vintage, +/- some modifications like FT3 bladders but also circuits like Zandvoort cannot be compared with modern venues of F1. Zandvoort was even dangerous in the old days. So the risk is almost the same as 1979.

  5. F1 will never come back to Zandvoort. The track will never be revamped to F1 standards as the city (one of the biggest beach cities, apart from the fact that the locals hate that form of tourism too) locals hate the circuit because of the noise pollution (no joke), so the local government will never throw money at it, state government won’t do it either as most state money goes to Amsterdam, and federal budget never goes to sport in the Netherlands as it’s mostly seen by as primitive (important reason why football is also in decline here).

    So… apart from those facts, there is no overtaking as the ”new” final sector is too tight for dirty air, even with the 71 lap-grand prix you would get, and don’t forget the crash was in the last sector coming onto the final straight into tyre cushions that weren’t enough, so let’s say for F1 you tighten safety there = or more tyre cushions, but then they’d be 30 cm of the kerb – all drivers would want them gone as you would need to lift but that means no overtaking – or put the guardrail father away from the circuit = there come the locals again (I’m not exaggerating, Dutch people eve file class-section lawsuits about windmills 3 miles with a highway between it).

    So Assen has a grade 2 license. Let’s stop even mentioning Zandvoort as it is closer to being sold and demolished then to getting back on the calender. I know some folks want to see that but this accident be a lesson.

    1. Zandvoort aan zee (sand fort on sea) is not a city, it is a village and the race track is the only thing that it has going for it.

      every few years there is some kind of statement made about getting it back on the F1 calender and all of the reasons that have stopped it in the past that have still gone unsolved are still there to prevent it.

      1) there is no way that zaandvoort could handle the volume of people and the supporting facilities (toilets, accommodation, restaurants, parking etc..) that an F1 race brings.

      2) the locals do no want it, tourism is already crushing the west coast of Holland

      3) the local council do not want it (sea number 2)

      4) There is currently a half hearted effort to curb the damaging effects of tourism in the province of North Holland which is has already reach critical mass and continues to increase beyond control

      5) Amsterdam and Haarlem, the closest cities, are full, in fact they are beyond maximum capacity and cannot cope with another large event although I doubt that this would deter the money hungry Dutch

      6) The track it situated in a Nature Reserve (seriously, i know), and is subject to restrictions as a result

      7) grand stand space is limited, it is a tiny race track compared with others on the calender

      8) is is basically more economical to build another circuit and complex somewhere else but then nobody would be interested as it is not the historic zandvoort so no point.

      So lets wait another few years for them to solve all of that and wait for this questions to be raised again, then we will no doubt discover that all of these issues remain and have not been solved.

      1. Very well said. Although I want to add that the tourist folders in the capital are calling Zandvoort ”Amsterdam Beach” to capitalize on tourism… Hahahaha, the nerve.

        It always stays quite fun from a distance to see the whole place hate that circuit (for much less well-detailed reasons as you mentioned) but seeing the Zandvoort circuit executives outsourcing a new business-plan to bring F1 back to the circuit every 3 years. I believe the results of the next plan are due this fall. They already put some new asphalt, they went on radio’s shows to talk about their expectations of the results (in their view it’s possible to bring F1 back of course), they even stated to have contacted Liberty Media.
        If only the Dutch would support Assen. You could see Max win every 2 years for a whole decade to come.

        1. As one who was born and raised in Amsterdam, “Amsterdam beach” is what people in Amsterdam consider Zandvoort to be. Much like Hoek van Holland is Den Haag beach.

          1. * or rather Scheveningen is Den Haag beach. Must go and make that coffee.

          2. Hoek van Holland is part of Rotterdam

          3. If anything it’s Haarlem Beach. Just that a lot of people who live in Amsterdam go to that beach doesn’t make it Amsterdam Beach.

          4. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            8th September 2017, 10:29

            Mind you, the fact that Zandvoort is sometimes advertised as Amsterdam Beach is not primarily done to have Zandvoort capitalize on tourism. Instead, it is primarily done to stimulate people who are visiting Amsterdam to move out of the city center every now and then. This is done because the Amsterdam city center is, according to many, overcrowded.

        2. Please don’t alter one of (maybe the best) moto circuit in the world for F1 racing.

          1. I wont, i promise

          2. Hermann, is that you?

  6. Since 2013 & ESPECIALLY 2013, Pirelli has no excuse for the crappy product they have. Never before have we seen so many delays in sessions or Safety Car race starts. This is even before the unfortunate Bianchi incident. Their wet weather tyres have made the drivers looks like they are driving on ice. Drivers in the past were able to drive through much heavier rain/water with Bridgestone & Michelin.

    Dry weather tyres? Oh boy, those who defend Pirelli, do you purposely ignore ALL the numerous comments drivers have made about the crap tyres. Did you forget drivers were speaking about more & more until Bernie gave them a finger wagging & told them not to talk badly about a sponsor?

    1. So perhaps then@s2g-unit, drivers and fans could urge teams, FIA to actually go out and test/use the wet tyres when it is raining. Currently testing is very very limited, certainly in comparison to what Bridgestone got, and teams stay in when it is wet “because we won’t learn much from running “.

      1. And to be fair to hulkenberg, that seems to be exactly what he is asking for: a concerted effort to improve the situation. I do agree with that

    2. I don’t blame Pirelli. I blame F1 and FIA for wanting to shape F1 via specific tire behaviour, and I blame lack of testing. Prior to this year the wets were lousy because all the tires were lousy, by design. This year they’re lousy because of a lack of wet weather testing on a proper 2017 car. I predict that Pirelli knows exactly what they have to do for next year, and they’ll do it now that there are proper 2017 cars to test with along with what they have observed throughout this season. The dry tires have also been too conservative due to Pirelli having little testing on proper 2017 cars until it was too late to react to the results from said tests. They had to base things on mock up 2016 cars attempting to simulate 2017 cars. Pirelli can make any tire F1 wants. The question becomes what does F1 want, and will they give Pirelli then chance to properly test.

  7. Wholly agree with Hulk about how F1 needs to invest into testing in the wet and work with Pirelli to get really good wet tyres, because every time we see them used, they find out they are just nog good enough and cars are aquaplanning off at the straight.

    Although to make that work they might have to consider enabling some changes to suspension made despite parc ferme too – I think the low groundclearance the cars have for optimum dry running is also a factor that makes them more prone to aquaplaning.

  8. Just wow. Seriously, this guy must be dumber than a box of rocks. Did he not perform any due diligence to understand the business née sport into which he was thinking he’d invest $200 million of his personal funds (he owns 100% of the equity of the machine tool business)? Apparently he did not, because if he had he would have known, a priori, that his little team was not going to win Formula One races. I mean, come on, open your eyes.

    1. Well we know this billionaire cannot be that dumb, and we also know he has never claimed that he would be winning any time soon, but just bemoans that without changes teams such as his will never get the chance to grow enough to win. But I say that changes are coming under Liberty and Brawn who have talked about this very issue. They’re fully aware of where Haas is coming from with his comments.

      1. The FIA made special rules only Haas benefited from, thus having an easier entry into the world of F1.
        Other teams did not have it so good.

  9. Rip, toa racer who died racing.

    Renault Seinz situation is interesting but clear. Renault will be ready for championships earliest 3-5 years from now. Kubica is essentially not a current driver and Alonso will be old by then. They need to think about that, so if they can get Seinz? Good on them.

    Meanwhile what if Honda becomes good? Granted everyone lost faith by now, but it is a possibility. If Honda can pay for missing WCC points, and become good… Boom RBR – Honda is in action.

    Probably not before 2021, when Porsche comes in. RBR then has 3 engines to choose. Atleast one should be good. Not a bad prospect.

  10. Funnily enough while Sean Bratches is complaining about governments promoting F1 Spa is breaking records of attendance.

    And as well as public support may be debatable at least profit is not the primary target for a government. That is bringing stability and Spa is a pretty good example of success.

  11. @spoutnik I think if you are referring to involvement of local government around an event to support local business, employment and communities that can be good thing, however it is far better for events to be financially viable (profitable) for organisers, circuits, businesses and local community so it can stand on it’s own two feet and financially contribute to, rather than be supported by, society.

  12. “Only “four of five” grand prix promoters are dedicated to the task of hosting races to the proper standard, according to Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches.”

    Well Mr Bratches, perhaps that’s because your exorbitant hosting fee extracts any and all potential revenue after consideration of event operating costs, leaving little or no funds available for promotion.

    I will say it again; the problem with Formula One is the capital structure. Formula One revenue has to service $16 billion of invested capital, beyond providing revenue for the teams. But the assets “supported” by that invested capital have precisely ZERO to do with the operation of the sport. It is nothing more than the legacy wealth extracted by Bernie (and his daughters), CVC Capital and various other investors, all of which is reflected in the intangible assets (mostly goodwill) on the Formula One Group balance sheet.
    I am happy to further articulate this most-fundamental issue if anyone cares.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      8th September 2017, 15:48

      I just had a look at their Q1 financialswow that Balance Sheet is some BS. Sure, their business model is built around leveraging the “goodwill” of F1 to entice countries into hosting races, but is the goodwill worth $18 billion? I think we might see an AOL-Time Warner situation in the next 7-10 years if Liberty takes even a tiny step in the wrong direction.

  13. the rest are car enthusiast groups

    Wait, what?

    or governments

    Ah yeah, makes sense

    1. “Car enthusiast groups” is probably a dig at BRDC, which does that duty for Silverstone.

      1. Although why they feel the need to have a dig at the BRDC/Silverstone with it’s sell-out crowds every year is beyond me.

        If they are getting capacity crowds and still can’t make the event financially viable (tickets to the British GP are already very expensive) then I’m not sure how more promotion is going to help.

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          8th September 2017, 15:59

          I think Silverstone might be classified as one of the four or five. The promoter of the US and Mexican GPs, Tavo Hellmund could be the enthusiasts that Bratches is referring to, although I think he’s done a pretty damn good job of promoting those grands prix.

  14. Horner “He was a bit conservative to be honest, both in Formula One and in Formula Two. It seemed a little too conservative.”

    It hasn’t been too long since the last tragic accident happened in F1.

    I would say conservative is the way to to go for a few years. Whiting has every reason to do it that way.
    Another freak accident followed by a major legal action might be all that takes to kill the sport.

    I’d rather go conservative and keep the sport alive.

  15. Christian Horner didn’t seem to think the FIA were been too conservative during the delay as he was interviewed on Sky during the red flag & said they should move qualifying to Sunday morning.

    Daniel Ricciardo was also interviewed on Sky & said that aquaplaning was too bad & during the track action on the pit channel Max Verstappen was on the team radio saying conditions were too bad as well.

    Plenty of other drivers were also calling conditions too bad & i trust the view of the drivers rather than those who have zero idea what its actually like as they sit at home watching on tv.

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