Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Paul Ricard, 2018

Ericsson suspects wind caused high-speed French GP crash

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In the round-up: Marcus Ericsson suspects a change in wind direction contributed to his heavy crash during practice for the French Grand Prix.

What they say

I turned in like every other lap, not going any faster or anything different. And I just lost the rear end completely. It was one of those strange crashes that you don’t really find a good explanation [for].

We’ve analysed it a lot afterwards and can’t really see anything apart from the wind being quite different that lap compared with other laps. I had a lot less headwind so I had a lot less downforce because of that.

If that’s enough to lose a car completely like that, I wouldn’t think so, but it’s the only thing we can find. It’s really strange.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Ju88sy was one of several fans caught in the traffic at Paul Ricard:

Having left Toulon at 09:30 still 4km away from the circuit at 15:42, incredible screwup by the circuit organisers. Why have they sold so many car park tickets? Today is Friday, typically a quiet day to attend a GP and the traffic has resulted in a wasted.

We have already put in a request for compensation. The circuit organisers have a lot of questions to answer about how they could screw up so badly for thousands of fans, will be missing FP2.

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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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27 comments on “Ericsson suspects wind caused high-speed French GP crash”

  1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    23rd June 2018, 0:08

    While I think excuses for crashes virtually always do sound a bit silly, this did look a bit of an odd one. Why would the car suddenly spin like that when he didn’t even run onto the curb? He didn’t even look to carry too much speed. It is obviously him driving fast so he will have to take most of the blame (as at low speed it won’t have happened, but i feel it is quite possible that the wind may have made his car twitch far more than expected.

    1. Many other drivers had similar problems and only the pathetic mile long run offs saved them. I can give him the benefit of doubt in this crash but hes in the middle of a terrible slump yet again which aint fit for an F1 driver. If hes never gonna show he can perform consistently his time is running terrible short right now.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd June 2018, 8:11

        Terrible in qualifying at the moment, ok I’ll give you that. But he was fine in the first 3 races. Baku was the only race he was really bad in IMO. Sorry to defend he yet again, but in Spain, he did some really good defending and kept Sainz behind for 9 laps despite Sainz being in a faster car and on new tyres while Ericsson was on 35 lap old tyres when he pitted. Leclerc was much better, but Ericsson wasn’t exactly bad there. Monaco, When Ericsson pitted, he came out well behind Leclerc, but very quickly caught up. He was then running within 2.5 seconds and DRS range behind Leclerc for virtually all the race. Then Canada, Ericsson was bad again in qualifying, but in the race, the gap was bigger than it will have been partly due to Ericsson getting damage at the start and having to pit then do almost the entire race on one set of tyres. Still will admit it will have been a good 20 seconds I think though, so not a good race.

        He’s been worse than Leclerc and had a slump in qualifying. But I wouldn’t say his recent races have been that bad.

    2. The theory is the wind was travelling in the same direction as the car, but faster, so instead of the rear wing supplying downward pressure onto the rear wheels, the wind was lifting rear wing thereby reducing the weight on the rear wheels, hence less grip.

      1. The wind was faster than the car!
        Not sure where that fits on the Beaufort scale; maybe triple Hurricane ;-)

        1. @coldfly That would explain the crash

  2. People getting stuck entering the track is a completely unacceptable situation. They had years in advance to prepare. I feel for the people waiting hours for nothing. I should be bigger news than it actually is, it’s a very important issue that they need to adress.

    I’d be absolutely mad if I was there.

    1. @fer-no65, it’s been pretty atrocious for the fans, whilst the teams are being just as badly hit as well – Snafnauer has complained that the traffic jams have been costing his team potential sponsorship opportunities, since one potential client had to turn away because they were stuck in traffic for hours.

      Mind you, the practise sessions could have been even quieter thanks to the French police – Grosjean has revealed that, as he travelled to the circuit with Vettel, the French police ordered them to pull over at a road block and tried to stop them going to the circuit.

      It does sound as if, to some extent, the issues aren’t just at the circuit itself – the local authorities have apparently been restricting the number of lanes which were open to traffic in the vicinity of the circuit, which seems to have made a difficult situation even worse.

      It sounds like the local authorities deserve a fair chunk of the blame too, especially given that there have always been issues – there are some veterans who were there in the 1980’s and 1990’s who complained that there were exactly the same problems then with traffic because the local infrastructure isn’t designed to cope with that volume of traffic, and they’ve done nothing to upgrade it in the decades since then.

      1. Snafnauer has complained that the traffic jams have been costing his team potential sponsorship opportunities, since one potential client had to turn away because they were stuck in traffic for hours.

        After missing out on millions in Monaco when he picked the wrong numbers in the casino :-p

    2. Here I was thinking I had been a bit negative about Paul Ricard. I thought it was going to be a disaster because it’s just a track painted on a giant parking lot, with migraine-inducing color-stripes, void of any form of flow or elevation and no overtaking opportunities.
      Turns out I was too positive…. haha. Not only did Friday confirm all the above (+confirmed one-stop strategy), I actually forgot something… the traffic fiasco!

  3. What? French GP was processional, without overtakes, from the access roads?

    1. Well, it looks like someone forgot to add a DRS zone to the access roads.

      1. A few blue flags would have helped to clear the traffic

        1. you don’t understand, they were under VSC!

      2. Nah, the original design was from Tilke

  4. I used to cycle 10km from my home to Donington. Can you try to hire a bike or buy a second hand one to do the last 10k?!! Weather looks nice enough. :)

    1. Sky team said that Kubica used to do this but the cops stopped him because no bikes allowed on the main road. Those guys are fit enough to do it though at a strong pace.

    2. @john-h It’s a good idea, but cycles are prohibited for a few Km before the circuit. Willl be leaving our Toulon hotel at 5:45 this morning to head to the circuit.

      Apart from the well known limited access issues, the contributing cause was complete incompetence in how the on-site car parking was managed.

      1. It is France after all.

      2. It’s mostly car park traffic flow management that causes these traffic jams.

  5. Rumors of Leclerc to Ferrari are getting to Ericsson.

  6. Sush Meerkat
    23rd June 2018, 5:29

    If the traffic leading into the Paul Ricard Circuit is so bad why don’t they put in a heavy braking point and DRS to aid overtaking?

    1. Tilke desinded the roads. No overtaking.

  7. It’s hard to imagine Dixon leaving Ganassi, but teaming up with McLaren makes almost too much sense for it not to happen at some point. A Kiwi driving for Bruce McLaren’s team—that would be the perfect capstone to his career.

    Plus, he’s only 37—a young man for IndyCar. (Tony Kanaan is 43 and still a contender on his day.) Even if Dixon and Alonso stay where they are this year, they could very well be teammates at some point, for several seasons. Wouldn’t that be delicious? Two all-time greats in their disciplines, paired in equal and competitive equipment.

  8. I couldn’t agree more with the COTD: Beyond ridiculous, LOL. They should’ve seen this coming, and, therefore, should’ve been much more prepared in planning the traffic arrangements well in advance before the race weekend. #IncompetenceAtItsBest

    1. The Force India-tweet, though.

  9. 10 kilometres in 2 hours? Never mind cycling, I could probably have walked from the bus stop (the buses stop 10.7 km from the track) at a similar speed…

Comments are closed.