Anthoine Hubert, Arden, Spa, 2019

FIA’s push for driver safety “will never end”

2019 F1 season

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FIA race director Michael Masi has said the sport’s governing body will never cease its pursuit of higher safety standards following the crash which killed Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert last weekend.

The sport was shocked by the crash on the second lap of Saturday’s feature race which also left Juan-Manuel Correa with broken legs and a spine injury. The Sauber Junior Team driver is expected to leave intensive care tomorrow.

The Dallara F2 2018 chassis used in the championship is built to F1 safety standards. It features the Halo, the FIA’s most recent major safety innovation, which was introduced to F1 and F2 last year to improve driver head protection.

An investigation into Saturday’s crash has already begun. Masi said research into how to better protect drivers in crashes will never stop. “Safety is ever evolving,” he said.

“Once different technologies become available, different materials become available, safety is an ever evolving process. For me it is something that will never end.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it: Safety is one of the core pillars of the FIA, part of why they exist. That was something that just won’t stop. We’ll continue to research and look at things and improve things as best we can.”

Following the news of Hubert’s Lewis Hamilton said the danger of motor racing was not fully appreciated by some fans and people in the sport. He praised the efforts the FIA has made to raise safety standards including under Masi’s predecessor Charlie Whiting.

“There’s a huge amount of work that the FIA have done up to this point,” said Hamilton. “I think they’ve been working incredibly hard and we’ve seen big steps already. Obviously, particularly when Charlie was here he made massive steps forward so we will continue in that direction.”

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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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20 comments on “FIA’s push for driver safety “will never end””

  1. I do understand that danger is a big part of the appeal of motorsport and the risk of getting hurt in a crash is something that cumulates to the ‘heroics’ of a driver. But to me, fatalities should not be part of any sport and I support the push for safety when it about saving lives (like the halo).

  2. Jose Lopes da Silva
    2nd September 2019, 9:48

    Raidillon needs a bigger escape area.

    1. @Jose Lopes da Silva Easier said than done.

    2. It should be thought about at least, I recall K-Mag had a pretty nasty coming together with that barrier in his Renault a couple of years ago. Fortunately for him he was the only one involved in that accident I think so no further consequences were forthcoming unlike this weekend.

      1. Yeah, 2016.

    3. The runoff at Eau Rouge/Raidillon is as big as it can be as there is a steep drop behind the wall there.

      1. If there’s a will @gt-racer, couldn’t the drop/bank be moved and reprofiled after removing some trees? There does seem to be room there for some civil engineering work (if there’s money for it), unlike for example the issues they had at Tamburello due to the river.

        The blind summit is a massive issue and to be honest I think we’ve seen enough of these crashes at Radillon now (in many categories) to justify some action.

        1. (if there’s money for it)

          ditto

  3. The Dallara F2 2018 chassis used in the championship is built to F1 safety standards

    Good to know this, this is something I wasn’t aware of.

    1. Which aren’t as high as F3 !
      Increased front bulkhead intrusion testing was added as ‘next in line for revision’.
      Was this because of reaction/recommendation from Billy Monger Accident Panel?
      We don’t know. FIA has only ever published a summary of ONE accident panel – JB.
      They have never even published a follow up to those recommendations.

  4. I have no problem with what he’s saying provided that they don’t just take the easy way out and force a change to the configuration of the track.

    1. Yes, because tracks like Baku it is even more likely to happen and at equally high speeds. There is just no escape at some points.

      Just a side note for 15 years i have always disagreed with the ‘super brave’ comments that were directed towards Kimi when he went through this section flat out despite an engine blow up in front of him in early 2000’s. It was utterly stupid and now everyone can see why.

  5. FIA’s push for driver safety “will never end” but will be put on the back burner for unsafe driving if it involves a front runner or championship contender. Unsafe release in the pits, no probs if you’re a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.

  6. I think Max/RB got punished for it in Monaco.

    1. No, he was not punished for unsafe release, he was punished for colliding into Bottas, which he actually did twice, and then he collided into Hamilton.

  7. I really hope Correa’s legs really are just broken as described in all the articles, because from the looks of the footage, it looks like it could have been………..much much more badly affected than that.

    In any case, I hope he recovers. One life loss is too many.

  8. This crash was, like the one Bianchi had a perfect storm of unfortunates.
    I’m not 100 percent sure if the FIA tests impacts from every angle or every speed, but what happened on Saturday must have not been something that was ever tested because the way even Correas front assembly just ripped off the monocoque is not something that should be seen. Its the secondary and third impacts that are more dangerous than initial impact. I am sure that at least with lower series we will see a revised or even new car in the next year or two.
    But this accident should not have happened this way if it were not always so easy to be off the actual track and continue at top speed. This accident happened in the run off area. Correa should not have been able to go flat out in that area or feel like that driving there like that was an option.
    The tires did their job in that area and Hubert came to a standstill in the runoff area. So the part that failed to me was the ability to go flat out on an area just past a blind crest where an accident is known to happen.
    All the individual things that had to go wrong here went wrong. The speed of impact, the location of impact on the cars, the angle of impact and the and the ability to go flat out off-track.

  9. Is that why you allowed Pérez to push Albon offtrack in a straight at over 300kph, next to at least two track marshals?

    That’s a funny way to push for driver safety.

  10. It’s just occurred to me that Hubert’s accident probably wouldn’t have been anything like as terrible if there had been a gravel trap instead of tarmac run off. Tarmac allows a car to roll back towards the track and into danger. Maybe time for a change of policy by the FIA?

    1. A gravel trap wouldn’t have helped.

      I’ve seen some additional footage of the accident but there’s a considerable blindspot that makes it hard to judge the fully what happened. Alesi’s car had a failure going up the hill that caused his car to snap left and then right. I presume he hit Hubert and knocked him into the wall (or at least forced him to go right). If there was a gravel trap Alesi or Hubert would have likely ended up rolling while Correa, who likely had to move right to avoid Alesi, would have skittered over the gravel and lost no speed. We don’t know what forced Correa to be where he was but it seems reasonable to assume he was unable to either change direction or slow down following the maneuver over there and Hubert’s damaged car, having lost it’s crumple zones following it’s initial impact with the wall, was unavoidable.

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