Alex Peroni, F3, Campos, Monza, 2019

“Stupid and dangerous” sausage kerbs criticised after Peroni’s huge F3 crash

2019 Italian Grand Prix

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Several drivers have criticised the use of sausage kerbs following Alex Peroni’s huge crash at the end of today’s Formula 3 race.

Peroni’s car was launched high into the air and landed on a barrier after striking one of the kerbs at the exit of Parabolica. His team said he is unhurt but is being taken to hospital for checks. The kerb was removed before F1’s practice session began.

Formula 2 driver Jordan King was among those to criticise the kerbs. “We have been saying for years these kerbs are dangerous and stupid,” he wrote on social media. “I hope now people wake up and smell the coffee.”

Mitch Evans, who won the championship in 2012 when it was called GP3, said: “Who the hell thought it was a good idea to plant a sausage kerb on the outside of the Parabolica?

“Just put grass and gravel back for God’s sake. Good to see Peroni walk away from that, scary accident.”

However Jack Aitken, who has raced in both series, said he suspects the kerb was damaged before Peroni struck it.

“I’m sure this was slightly freak,” he said. “The kerb has been damaged somehow and ripped up when Alex went over it, so the issue is more how it got damaged. Normally the cars bottom out and just skate across, safely. I don’t agree with them entirely, but this looks a freak thing.”

“Gravel and grass have disadvantages compared to Tarmac in a lot of accident scenarios,” he added. “That’s why they’re there in a lot of tracks now. Not saying I like it (I miss the old Parabolica) but can’t argue with the research that’s been done.”

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Sausage kerb, Montreal, 2018
A sausage kerb at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

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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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28 comments on ““Stupid and dangerous” sausage kerbs criticised after Peroni’s huge F3 crash”

  1. I was glad to see that more measured post by Aitken; In the end, sure perhaps we need to look at better solutions, but the sausage kerbs were not put there without any thought to them. They are an ugly, and clearly sometimes problematic solution (though in Austria the clear answer to damage from sausage kerbs was: don’t do that then!)

    I do hope the new rule Masi put in for this weekend,going off track leading to 2 affected lap times being deleted, combined with the removal of the kerbs now, turns out to be adequate enough, though it does leave the ‘overtaking substantially off track’, but that’s perhaps a separate matter for the stewards anyway.

    1. Been saying it long ago – Keep asphalted run off areas. Just make 1-2-meter wide grass line between the track and asphalted sides.

  2. Jose Lopes da Silva
    7th September 2019, 11:57

    Where are the halo haters, lately?

  3. They could replace the sausage curbs with mashed potatoes and gravy, that’d be far better at slowing the car.
    Seriously though there have to be better options than installing ramps and sharp curbs next to the track limits?

    1. It’s a great thing the F3 has the halo, because that was just bloody awful, to be frank.

  4. They seem counterintuitive, but Jack Aitken’s comment is sensible. The kerbs don’t usually send cars airborne, so it was probably earlier damage that caused it.

    This is actually a recurring theme. Most of the tragic accidents we’ve seen over recent years are the result of secondary incidents where a safety feature has worked in the initial situation but ends up compromising or being compromised in a follow-up incident. Quick response to repair the compromised safety element or situation can help sometimes, but other times it really is down to luck and bad luck.

    1. the problem was the angle and the fact that ars at that speed are very close to the ground, the car’s tray hit the kerb and didn’t skip over it, scooped the kerb and surely this time the halo worked.

      1. @peartree OK, thanks. I’m not a fan of kerbs or penalties for going wide, and would actually prefer both to be dropped until another solution is found. The both seem like bad solutions to poor (or outdated) circuit design.

      2. Exactly. When a car goes over such kerb at an angle the car merely bottoms out and glides on top of the kerb. Even at high speeds the tires go over the kerb first which reduces the risk of airborne incident. But when the sausage kerb is hit either head from the side or from the front the front the impact with the kerb is not just more sudden but all the energy from the impact goes directly into the car chassis. And it launches the car in the air.

        F1 had a somewhat similar incident in silverstone with verstappen. A lot of people missed it but I was watching verstappen’s car go over the sausage kerb backwards and had the car gone over sideways I’d imagine it would have been launched in the air as well: The rake of the verstappen’s car (rear ground clearance higher than front) saved verstappen from the launch but verstappen as the car glided over the kerb but I think verstappen was still lucky to not break a vertebrae in that crash. It is not uncommon to see formula drivers break their backs when going over sudden bumps and kerbs like that.

        1. Lots of typos in that post. I’m tired lol.

  5. Pretty sure thats a bug in the physics engine. try reloading the circuit maybe?

  6. a weekend after a freak accident, fom decides to do this. Different to last weekend but in both cases gravel would help.

  7. I dont think there is anything wrong with sausage kerbs, but the way the put them in parabolica is just moronic. If they put down something that can do THAT to a car, its damn right dangerous and just beyond believe.
    I hope he’s ok.. That must ve been insane G forces his coccyx suffered from that launch….

  8. The crash looked similar to the Mercedes crashes in Le Mans in 1999. The kerb lifts the car slightly, which loses all downforce and the wind in combination with the high speed makes it airborne.

    1. johnandtonic (@)
      7th September 2019, 13:13

      “The kerb lifts the car slightly, which loses all downforce and the wind in combination with the high speed makes it airborne.”

      Any idea how this will impact the cars in 2021 when the distribution of down force is move from above to below the car?

      1. just ask Gilles

  9. Those kerbs would not be there at all if the drivers just learned to respect track limits…simple enough.

  10. OK. I will suggest again what I have been suggesting for years. Make offline have zones, painted or coloured tarmac. Car completely in the green band means an immediate 3 second penalty. Car completely in the orange zone equals an automatic stop and go penalty. Car in the red zone is disqualified or given a 1 minute penalty depending upon circumstances. Motorsport needs to immediately stop run-off being an extension to the race track, and bring some unexpected events back into racing like the 70s and 80s.

    1. I’d hate that solution… with a passion. I have a problem with artificial penalties. This would make it worse..

      I’s sooner propose a lift of all track limit penalties. And why not. If going wide in a certain corner means you’re faster.. then good for you. Everybody would be doing it, no advantage would be gained and no policing would be needed.
      Less is more

      1. I wouldn’t like time penalties but an extra loop that drivers have to do at a defined point at the track within 2 laps would work. I think they have that sort of thing in MotoGP and it seems to be a good idea to me as it gives a real penalty but not so severe as to ruin a race.
        I think if they’d had that in Canada this year it would have been less controversial than the 5 second post race penalty.
        The only issue would be if the off track excursion happened on the last lap.

      2. Without any track limits, a tank could be faster than an F1 car – it could cut off head straight across the infield at most tracks.

        Drivers don’t cross the finish line, do a u-turn, drive back a little way and loop round to cross it again, because that’s an obvious and immediate DQ. They will obey rules that are enforced by penalties that make breaches a huge disadvantage. At the moment the rules on track limits encourage drivers to push things, because the advantages to be gained are significant, they may not be punished at all, and if they are, aren’t punished by enough – it’s sensible to risk a 5s penalty in a situation where it would be stupid to risk DQ, for example.

        1. I expected sub par quality comments as a response. Didn’t quite see this one coming.
          Try again Dave…

    2. Suffering Williams Fan
      7th September 2019, 16:10

      I think in practice and qualifying you can just apply a completely strict lap deletion policy for the offending lap (and subsequent lap where relevant, as has been done for Parabolica). In a race, to avoid the risk of a blizzard of penalties that become a bit confusing and annoying, I think, rather than physical obstacles, I’d opt for something like this:

      If all four wheels leave the track at any point of the circuit, then the corresponding sector time must not be faster than the median of the previous 3 legal racing laps set by that car, if it is, give up an appropriate amount of lap time, or you get a time penalty. That is, if you gain a tenth by going off track somewhere, give up that tenth, in the next sector say, or 3 seconds gets added. In this way, the on track order will, for the most part, be the true race order.

      It’s not perfect of course, because you still have to decide how you handle the first few laps of a race before the references have been established, or rapidly changing conditions due to weather (I would still leave overtaking/defending scenarios to the discretion of stewards, because absolute lap time is not the only issue here), but to me the process should essentially be to check if the driver has gained an advantage by leaving the track. If they’re slower (either because it was actually a mistake rather than abusing track limits, or because they’ve subsequently given the time back), then no problem, carry on. If they went faster than they have typically gone in the relevant sector (or sectors) over last few laps, then apply a penalty (probably following a warning to give the time back).

  11. How about treacle traps.

    1. Treacle is more dangerous than many people realise:

  12. I realise I might be venturing into controversial territory, but knowing that Peroni walked away from that accident, I’ve got to say that this has to be one of the most aesthetic car crashes I’ve ever seen!

    It’s obvious that this kerb had to go, and I can’t believe how lucky we all were, after losing Anthoine Hubert and hearing that Juan Manuel Correa’s life is currently hanging by a thread, not to see another junior driver get badly hurt.

    At the same time, I can’t help but admire the terror and the beauty of witnessing a very fast car losing control in one of the most famous corners in the world, taking off like an aeroplane and trying to complete a tantalisingly slow pirouette in mid-air before coming to a halt atop the tyre barrier, adding a touch of surrealism to the long shot of the start-finish straight. Truly a moment to remember.

  13. Sausage curbs are wrong. In a start line incident it’s quite likely a car can lose control, hit a sausage curb on the inside of a corner and launch nose first into another car side on at head height. Gravel all the way, no driver wants to be beached.

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