Sausage kerb, Montreal, 2018

F1 drivers ask FIA to reconsider sausage kerbs after Macau crash

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have urged the FIA to look into the role the ‘sausage kerb’ design may have played in Sophia Floersch’s Macau Grand Prix crash last week.

Floersch’s car was launched through a debris fence after hitting a sausage kerb and the car of rival Sho Tsuboi. Both were injured along with three others at the scene.

A similar kerb has been installed at turn 20 at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend. But several drivers damaged their cars on it during Friday’s running. This, together with the Macau crash, prompted them to ask FIA race director Charlie Whiting to look into whether the design of the kerbs could be improved.

“We discussed the crash that happened in Macau,” explained Pierre Gasly. “In that case the sausage kerb, looking at the video, didn’t help because it just ‘airborned’ the car.

“We said that probably should look at different options than sausage kerbs because it’s the same in a couple of tracks where if you go off-track, start sliding and hit one of these kerbs it just makes you fly more than anything else.”

The kerbs are used on many tracks including the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal (pictured). They were introduced to prevent drivers cutting the inside of corners. “It stops you from going off-track,” Gasly agreed, “but in certain situations it can make things quite unsafe.”

Whiting confirmed on Thursday the FIA is investigating the possible causes of Floersch’s crash including the role the kerbs may have played.

“They say they are looking into it and they are trying to find out what’s the best solution to make sure that drivers don’t cut the track and gain any advantage but at the same time try to find the safest option,” said Gasly.

The sausage kerb installed at Yas Marina was damaged during Friday’s running and may be altered for the rest of the weekend. “They might just crop the top of it,” Gasly suggested, “because that’s also the extra height.” The kerb is 50 millimetres tall.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 16 comments on “F1 drivers ask FIA to reconsider sausage kerbs after Macau crash”

    1. Interesting reading. Interesting points.
      ”trying to find out what’s the best solution to make sure that drivers don’t cut the track and gain any advantage but at the same time try to find the safest option” – That’s the right approach.

      1. Safest way to stop them going beyond the limit of 5he track is to disqualify any lap during qualifying and impose a five second penalty for each occurrence during the race.

      2. A pebble like surface? That doesn’t need to be very high and it would surely reduce the grip.

        Gravel traps were quite good in that regard.

    2. In this accident the sausage curbs probably saved Sho Tsuboi’s life.

    3. F1 drivers ask for investigation into something that’s already being investigated.

    4. Specially the kerb at turn 20 in Abu Dhabi is really really bad, if the car gets on it, it lifts it and there’s no way to control it until they hit the tarmac again once the kerb ends. There must be other options to avoid corner cutting (or in this case missing the corner completely). I don’t like when drivers benefit from the tarmac run off, but it’s worse when you see what happened to Verstappen in practice for example

      1. Then don’t hit it. Plain simple. If it’s hittable, then everyone would hit it on every lap.

        1. @regs agree but it’s very dangerous. Even if unintentional, it makes controlling the car impossible. There must be other way.

    5. Just put spikes in the corner like the police uses to stop fleeing cars. Cut the corner, lose a tyre. Sorted.

      1. @aapje – “Lose a tyre” at, say, 150kph? Sounds far worse than launching, to me.

        1. @aapje – apologies if your comment was in jest.

      2. Make the spike’s short enough that it doesn’t puncture the tire, but shreds the rubber enough that they need to stop for new tires.

    6. If the high curbs are deemed to be dangerous they need to go. Perhaps an electronic trigger that alerts the stewards when a car crosses the line past a certain point. Then it can be annualized and a decision made on what action to take.

    7. SIMPLE: Don’t make the kurbs CONVEX or in any other way sticking out horizontally, make them flat BUT slippery. I’m sure there’s a perfect material that could provide so little grip that it would be beneficial to go over it.
      And if it demanded the same amount of discipline as bariers on street tracks, then even better. Drivers would stay away from them the same way they stay away from bariers, but in case somebody makes a mistake, the consequences would not at all be terrible.

      Obviously, this is a solution for road tracks.

    8. At a time where there are sensors all over the cars I find it hard to believe this is a thing. The FIA can easily use sensors to determine when drivers exceed the track limits and it’s simple enough to assess a penalty when an infraction is committed. 2 tires over the line, 5 second penalty, 4 tires over the line, 10 second penalty, 4 tires over the line twice, disqualification. I can’t help but think that this feels like someone saying they don’t know how to turn their TV on when the batteries die in their remote.

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