It was interesting, then, to see the reaction of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) to the condition of the Monza circuit used for the Italian Grand Prix last weekend.
They shared with the press their concerns about the state and extent of the circuit’s run-off areas and suggested that some areas, such as the Variante della Roggia, required tarmac run-offs instead of gravel. They claimed impact speeds in the event of an accident would be as high as 200 kph.
The FIA’s official response may not have been in Mosley’s name but it bore the hallmarks of his distinctive brand of vitriol:
The owners of circuits licensed for Formula One are required not to discuss safety measures with third parties (including drivers). This is to prevent self-appointed experts, with little or no understanding of the latest developments in circuit safety, causing confusion and undermining the significant safety benefits which are now being achieved.
Incendiary it may be, but the FIA/Mosley has a point. The Monza circuit featured a new high speed barrier built by TecPro international capable of absorbing a 200 kph impact while reducing the G-loading inflicted on the driver to a “tolerable level”. It was installed at the very corner the drivers complained about, as well as the Parabolica.
Mosley’s endless tinkering with F1’s sporting and technical rules may invite criticism but the message from this encounter is clear: do not underestimate how serious he is about safety.
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