FIA will consider if kerb changes are needed after Gelael injury

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In the round-up: FIA race director Michael Masi says it will look into whether changes to kerbs are needed following the injury sustained by Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael in last weekend’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya.

What they say

Gelael suffered a fractured vertebra following the crash in Saturday’s feature race. Masi said the kerb Gelael hit is safe, but the accident will be studied to identify possible areas for improvement.

They absolutely are fit for use and safe. From an FIA perspective, safety is something that we’re obviously continually evaluating. Circuit design solutions and so forth.

This is no different to any other [incident]. We’ll have a look at the details of the incident together with our safety department gathering all the footage, all of the available data, and then come to make [a deciion]. If there’s amendments required, then we’ll make those.

It’s fullness of time, it’s not a knee-jerk reaction at all, but certainly something that we’re looking into, the true causes of the whole picture.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Istanbul Park and Bahrain’s Outer Circuit would be welcome additions to the 2020 F1 calendar, says Neil:

This calendar just gets better. I’ll miss Circuit of the Americas, Interlagos, Baku, even boring old Monaco, and I was looking forward to seeing the Vietnam circuit.

But the chance to see F1 on some different venues like Portimao and Mugello, redesigned Imola, outer Bahrain and now my favourite Tilke circuit (Istanbul) more than makes up for it.
Neil (@neilosjames)

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On this day in F1

  • 30 years ago today Jean-Louis Schlesser and Mauro Baldi shared victory for Mercedes in the World Sportscar Championship round at the Nurburgring

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  • 37 comments on “FIA will consider if kerb changes are needed after Gelael injury”

    1. +1 to COTD. This revised calendar is by far the best thing to come out of covid for F1.

      1. @aussierod Agree. F1 going to circuits such as Istanbul, Mugello, and Portimao is the silver lining of 2020.

    2. The issue’s root cause, she believes, is with the lack of able corporate sponsors willing, outside a pandemic landscape, to live up to their own diversity pledges in terms of where they spend their money.

      I would have chosen that quote from the Mann article. Same old, same old. I wonder if we’ll see anything different come out of all of F1’s diversity pledges.

      I predict not.

      1. I’ve read a few articles in this vein.

        A lot of corporations are just virtue signalling, to “appeal” to their customers. I am totally against identity politics, and I dont believe any diversity drive is necessary (please, hate me). However, if an organisation/corporation is constantly talking about achieving “diversity”, then they should explain what that means?

        Everyone in F1 has been talking about diversity lately…I’m still waiting to see what that means, and how they will achieve this. How diverse is diverse?

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          20th August 2020, 18:10

          That’s the main problem and why nothing is getting done. This sport shouldn’t be about “diversity”, it should be about “performance”. There is a major difference between equal “opportunity” and equal “outcome”. Todays talk about diversity is about equal outcome which is not a fair way in tackling any problem. Now, racing as a whole is “unfair” for drivers. There are many talented drivers that never make it close to the high levels of the sport all because they don’t have the financial backing. If anything, racing is economically unfair. I wouldn’t say it is systemically racist, if it is, someone please make it known.

          I view it like it’s Ferrari’s “theorized” way of bi-passing the fuel flow sensor… instead of designing a system that just works and meets the rules. They design a system that performs outside of the rules except for the intervals in which the sensor takes readings, to give a desired value/outcome but gives the impression it’s fair/legal.

      2. In the end, if people are fast enough, sponsors will follow. It doesn’t really matter if you’re male or female.

        1. As demonstrated by the huge number of women in motorsport…. Oh wait… Or are you suggesting that literally no women are fast in a car?

          1. compared to men yes.

        2. This comment is especially hilarious when you consider how much sponsorship money makes its way to obviously, blatantly inferior drivers. Remind me why Hulkenberg got the boot from Williams again? Money does not always follow talent, sometimes it suffocates the careers of the talented.

          1. Remind me why Hulkenberg got the boot from Williams again?

            Because he didn’t look good compared to an aging Rubens Barrichello who was already at the end of his career.

      3. @skipgamer

        I think it’s a good thing when sponsorship is given based on how people perform, rather than what they have in their pants or the color of their skin.

        Pippa’s race results don’t exactly seem breathtaking. Does she get less sponsorship than racers with similar results? If not, it seems to me that she wants to be privileged over others.

        1. +1

        2. I think it’s good when sponsorship recognizes when people have been locked out of opportunities over generations and uses their power to seek remedies, because “how people perform” is often based on their opportunities, and how performance is measured is based on whether, say, the partner invites the associate for drinks or to his or her home for dinner.

          I’ve been on RFPs response projects when corporate clients demand diversity. I’ve also seen open discrimination in my workplaces, especially against women. (I’ve also seen clients refuse to have women staffed on a case!) I’m much more inclined to encourage and support the corporate “virtue signalling” than to just say OK to the status quo either to avoid “identity politics” or because it is nominally meritocratic.

        3. @aapje the article that is linked to notes that she had been hoping for what would have been her first long term sponsorship deal this year, but that failed to materialise.

          As far as I am aware, Pippa Mann hasn’t had any long term sponsorship deals during her career and has had to rely on working as a Performance Driving Coach to pay for for majority of her career (i.e. she seems to be mainly relying on self funding from other employment, rather than sponsorship).

    3. I put the blame for Gelael’s injure squarely on the FIA and their refusal to manage track limits. You don’t need dangerous kerbs to stop drivers going off the track and gaining time if you punish them for doing so instead.

      1. That really feels like the logical conclusion, doesn’t it @petebaldwin, but still no one in F1, F2, F3 or the FIA itself seem to want to go there.

        I don’t really understand why, when timing loops etc are proven to be effective at detecting any infringement by now, so one could easily put in place a simple mechanism where 3 times outside the lines means referral to the stewards for a penalty. Or even an automatical penalty if one chooses so.

    4. This is no different to any other [incident]. We’ll have a look at the details of the incident together with our safety department gathering all the footage, all of the available data, and then come to make [a decision]. If there’s amendments required, then we’ll make those.

      This is very different in that Gelael now has a fractured bone in his spine. I tried to find a video of the incident but couldn’t.

      1. + 1
        No luck, the only thing I found was mention of contact and the car getting airborne and coming down down heavily on the kerb…have no idea if that’s the case….

    5. I can’t read German, so haven’t been able to read the article about ERS, but wouldn’t /shouldn’t the FIA already have the full details of each teams ERS as a part of their normal scrutineering and homologation process?

      To be as pedantic about fuel flow as they are and not be tracking ERS to me seems quite counter intuitive as I was sure there were limits on how much electrical input could be used as well.

      1. I do understand German and have just read the article @dbradock, @balue.

        First of all, it seems the FIA is still deciding whether the ban on different modes is actually going to come in from Belgium onwards or not. And they are still working on defining exactly what that would mean to paper, planned for this week.

        But apart from that, the FIA has requested from all powertrain suppliers very detailed information about how the systems surrounding the ERS system work, how they are connected and what maximum flows of power are running through these sensors and components that are not running in the high voltage system directly but rather are connected through a lower voltage system.

        From the detailed information the FIA requests, it seems they are looking at whether any manufacturer is doing something not unsimilar from what Ferrari were doing to the fuel flow measurment to be able to inject more fuel than was measured by the sensor into the engine. This would allow the engine to use more electrical power than the allowed boost limit per lap. The maximum that flows through the high voltage system is indeed measured to ensure compliance to the limit.

        The article speculates that either the FIA must have got a tip about this actually happening, and clamping down on it. Or just them having looked at how Ferrari did the thing with the fuel flow and now found something similar that could be done. Alternatively, the article mentions, it could just be that this inquiry is meant to further base the limitation of power modes on. It highlights that it is curious that none of the engine manufacturers actually have protested vehemently against this planned mid season change.

        1. Thanks @bascb greatly appreciated.

          1. @dbradock There’s Google translate available, but you’ve already got the translation from @bascb. I agree with both of your points, though.

        2. Well Mercedes did protest the regulation change they made it pretty clear it was designed to slow them down. And why would honda, Renault or ferrari protest it when they know they cant compete with Mercedes? They all think getting it banned will slow down Mercedes, racing point and williams dowm which will help all honda, Renault or ferrari powered cars. This just proves to me how idiotic the fia really are.

    6. Hm, now I am kind of curious whether that HYRAZE league ever really materializes. And if it does, who does it attract to race in the series. Could this pose a replacement for the now more or less abandoned DTM series?

      1. I hope it does. Maybe even replace Formula E.

      2. From a technology/environmental stance, it sounds extremely interesting, with huge learning potential for the automobile industry.

    7. Nice article from McLaren working on sustainable composites from biological material. Cheaper, less CO2 footprint, some material advantages etc. What is not to like!

      1. The article by McLaren about the early history of the Carbon fibre monocoque chassis is a good read. I’m not sure if I agree that flax fibres are the ultimate in F1 driver’s seat material, and more so in regards to the chassis, but it is an interesting concept.

        1. @drycrust Do you have experience with Flax fibres? McLaren have done some daft things, but they do have a long history of innovation. It sounds like it could be better (at least for the seat). Also sounded like there was little to no intention of using it for anything structural. Seems like they’re aware of shortcomings.

    8. *facepalm*

      FIA is only now requesting all teams’ ERS details, when they planned to ban engine modes in the next 7 days *double facepalm*

      Hope all their plans fail

    9. I have always said once we crack hydrogen as fuel source, battery power will be utterly redundant.

      Formula E will be a thing of the past (unless it becomes Formula H … ).

      1. I disagree. Hydrogen is the least efficient of the “green” fuels with massive energy loss through the conversions.

        Battery power is here to stay.

        However I do see hydrogen with a strong future in long-haul applications; particularly road (and even rail) freight. Here in Australia long-haul trucks clock up over 1,000 kms every day of the week. It would take some pretty insane battery density to meet that goal—hydrogen certainly seems the more logical choice.

        1. @justrhysism does it necessarily need that high an energy density?

          Presumably the drivers of those trucks cannot drive non-stop all the time, so is it necessary to have a battery which has a far greater range than that of the driver? Would it not be feasible to have a battery that is shorter range, with the driver recharging when they are having a rest partway along the route?

      2. Hydrogen production, storage and transport is highly inefficient, no way it could ever replace batteries. Time, energy and money should be invested into biofuels from waste, not hydrogen. Algae that produce biofuels from waste plastics would provide fuel for airplanes where energy density is a necessity, something that hydrogen lacks.

    10. The fia really are something special. They believed because no one complained about their stupid mid season rule change its proof that the teams are cheating with their engines. Small problems with that is Mercedes did complain about it, they made it pretty clear it was designed to slow them down.
      And why would honda, Renault & ferrari complain about it? If they think it will slow Mercedes powered teams down? Honda believe it will slow down Mercedes that will help redbull, Renault believe it will slow racing point down and we know how desperate they are to not get beat by racing point. Ferrari believe it will slow down Mercedes making it easier to catch Mercedes up they’ll also believe it will slow racing point down which helps ferrari get 3rd place in the constructor championship, they’ll also think it will spow down williams which helps haas and alfa romeo. I’m sure when the engine manufacturers hand over their ers data the fia will hand it over to ferrari for ferrari to tell them if anyone is cheating like they were and come next season ferrari will be back up challenging Mercedes as they will have copied their designs.

    11. With introduction of 18” wheels many of the kerbs ought to vanish and the rest to be redesigned.

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