Another open cockpit near-miss: Oliver Rowland, FR2.0

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    Formula One racing should be dangerous. I don’t want these guys getting hurt

    I don’t doubt for a moment that you are sincere when you say you don’t want to see F1 drivers getting hurt.

    But when you also say things like “Formula One racing should be dangerous” then it follows that there is some level of driver injury you’re willing to tolerate. One fatality per decade? No more than two brain injuries within a five-year period? I think that’s dodgy territory to stray into.

    It’s one thing to admit the difficulty of making Formula One safe: “Formula One will be dangerous”; quite another to suggest that is desirable: “Formula One should be dangerous”.


    A better statement is that F1 should be punishing rather than dangerous- the possibility of a big crash is there (and many crashes are entertaining due to their spectacle if you know there isn’t likely to be any injury, either because the crash is minor or a replay), but that crash is maybe only punishing due to crashing being unpleasnat and bad for any championship ambitions rather than because it may lead to injury.

    I have some sympathy for people who say that F1 should be dangerous though, as many drivers- particularly drivers of the 60’s- think/thought the same. The trouble is, there are many more who would rather compete in the same manner as before, just without the risk of severe injury or death when it can often be easily avoided. I know Jackie Stewart faced a lot of opposition, but I’d be curious to know how many only opposed due to the convention of the time, and how many even with hindsight would still think the same.


    I really can’t get my head around this ‘supposed to be dangerous’ mentality.

    No it’s not, it’s motorsport, it’s supposed to be about going faster than everyone else. Making the sport as safe as possible doesn’t change that in the slightest.


    I now realize what I said is quite rediculous and take it back. I didn’t mean it “should be” or that I want it to be, it’s just how it’s always been. Also When I said it “loses appeal” I meant from a design perspective not an entertainment one. I love how you have a full view of the drivers head as he’s blistering down the straight looking down at the steering wheel or checking the mirrors.


    The problem of driver safety is not so much should we fit canopies or protective cages, it is how far should the driver be protected.

    Should the steering wheel be redesigned to stop hand, mainly thumb injuries, when there is a crash. Should the drivers seat be redesigned so that spinal injuries be reduced.

    And possibly the most controversial, should the engines be made quieter as most people who work in the pit lane end up being partially deaf.


    @lin1876 Given the amount of widelife of the insect variety at many of the races, a windscreen semi-canopy (of any sort) wouldnt work, you can imagine the mess it would make. Drivers have visor peel offs to help with this, but it would be inpractical and boring to see drivers coming into the pits every 10 laps to have a peel off job on a windscreen done.


    @jamesf1 Like I said, technical challenges. Still, I would think some king of windscreen wipers would be doable, at least in principle.


    I assume you meant that some ‘kind’ of windscreen wipers would be doable, but I much prefer the idea of a king of windscreen wipers.

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