F1 death proof?

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    Thank God its been a very long time since we have seen a fatality in F1. I clearly still remember news of Senna coming on to the TV.
    Last year we saw numerous fatalities in motor sports, excluding F1.
    No doubt the FIA should be praised for raising the bar continually on the safety requirements & as far as open wheel racing is concerned, the FIA lead the way.
    I sincerely pray we never see another fatality, nor serious injury again. These drivers are amazing, talented, dedicated & disciplined individuals. Pinnacal soldiers who control missiles with wheels.
    In the back of my mind I know though, F1 is certainly not death proof. Prayers for a serious accident free upcoming season.


    Amen to that.


    F1 is certainly not death-proof, though it’s clear that huge improvements in safety have been made since 1994. There have still been very serious injuries recently, though, such as Felipe Massa’s crash a couple of seasons ago. And let’s not forget that there have been non-driver fatalities in the sport as well, like Graham Beveridge, who was killed at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, where he was working as a marshal.

    I’m sure nobody wants to see another death in F1, but I think it will happen again one day.


    Oddly enough I was wondering this the other day. I don’t think we can ever say “death-proof”, however it has been F1’s safest ever decade. It is unfortunate that the non-driver fatalities such as the aforementioned Graham Beveridge and Paolo Ghislimberti who died the previous year at Monza are often forgotten.

    I worry that the next “big one” is just around the corner, particularly as we almost have a whole generation of drivers who have not experienced the death of an F1 driver in their lives.

    N.B. I’m aware that there are no drivers on the current grid born after April 1994, but a few are too young to remember it.


    F1 will never be completely safe, that’s just something everyone has to accept. I have yet to witness a live race where a driver died from an accident, and I hope that never happens.


    I just hope that if it happens, the FIA won’t have any knee-jerk reactions that will make the sport unwatchable. I know it feels terrible to lose a talented individual — Senna’s accident is one of my earliest clear memories, I was 5 — but freak accidents can and will happen and the drivers know that and have to accept it, otherwise they need to change profession.


    Not only has the FIA done a great job regarding safety improvements, but we’ve also been lucky from time to time. When Liuzzi crashed into Rosberg and Petrov at Monza last year, the car could easily have slided over the other cars making the turn, and hit someone in the head. Same for the Sutil-schumacher crash at Abu Dhabi 2010. Or just think what would’ve happened if Rosberg had hit the wall at Monaco 2011… Nothing did happen, but it’s very possible something will happen this season or the next. Hopefully not, but you never know…

    Bradley Downton

    As bad as I feel saying it, I get a strange feeling the next ‘big one’ is right around the corner. as ‘ME4ME’ says, this season or next. We’ve have accidents in the past few years that have all been really really bad, Kubica in Canada 07, Massa in Hungary 09, Perez in Monaco 11 etc.
    I hope and pray, as I think we all do, that there won’t be a fatality any time soon, but i’ve got a horrible feeling there will


    I’m hoping to never be able to watch a fatalitie occurring in Formula 1. And I hope to live a lotof time. But then, motorsport has always been dangerous and something can happen without anybody expecting it. But I hope that doesn’t happen…


    Yep, it’s not death proof, but it’s incredibly safe. In the last couple of years we’ve had crashes that would be fatal a decade ago.

    But we’ve seen recently with Surtees, Tomizawa, Wheldon and Simoncelli that freak crashes do happen and even though F1 is safer then those series, it can still happen.

    I hope Ayrton remains the last driver to die in F1.


    One possible area to look at in making F1 safer is reducing the aero impact in favour of mechanical grip. Following a mainly aero route means the cars will always be on the limit of the safety regs as the positioning of the weight and bulk is a primary feature of aero design. The real effects of blown diffusers, optomised parts for aero, efficiency, F ducts etc. on the overall safety of the car is relatively unknown. They surely cant be making the car any safer in a real sense. The introduction of drs and kers are a mistake in my view because they provide an instant and uncontrolled speed boost. Yes the driver can cope and adapt but for me the accelerator pedal is what controls the speed of a car and a drivers skill is measured by his sensitivity in delivering the limit at any given time. DRS and Kers blur that and the skill of the driver IMHO. I do see an application for kers technology but DRS is just a dumb solution and it reduces grip when the car is on the limit. If the next big fatality is around the corner as some have suggested then DRS will be the root cause IMHO.


    It’s obviously becoming less and less likely that a driver will die in a F1 race under normal circumstances anytime soon, but it only takes a freak incident like Hungary ’09 for it to happen. While the cars are becoming more crash proof and the general safety of F1 is always improving there will always be a chance, however small, that a driver could die. Hopefully it will never happen again but that relies partly on a little bit of luck to assist the constantly evolving safety measures.


    I remember being in Spa in ’01 when Burti crashed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx5H8nY4SS4 and the cloud of gloom that decended while we were waiting for news about his condition. Not a pleasant athmosphere but luckily he was fine. In many ways F1 is the safest motorsport today but care should be taken and changing the rules has a safety implication that has the potential to create new areas of risk as I mentioned above and aero development as it is today combined with things like DRS and KERS, even more so because absolute control on the limit is now a reaction of the driver instead of a managed action controlled by the driver. Any driver will attest that adding an instant 10kmph on the limit has a greater effect than a simple injection of speed. Too much of a grey area IMHO.

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