Video: Stewards may throw Red Bull out

In an unprecedented step the stewards of the Malaysian Grand Prix are considering excluding the Red Bull cars from competing on the grounds their car is dangerous

David Coulthard had this unusual crash in the first session when he ran across a kerb prompting a suspension collapse.

The stewards have asked them to supply a technical report on the incident and considering excluding them under article 2.3 of the technical regulations: “The stewards of the meeting may exclude a vehicle whose construction is deemed to be dangerous.”

Coulthard had a similarly dramatic failure in the Australian race following contact with Felipe Massa. But so did Timo Glock’s Toyota after it was thorn into the air by a bump situated off the track. Mark Webber also retired from the race with suspension damage after colliding with Anthony Davidson.

There have been past occasions where teams have withdrawn from races due to car failures – Minardi at the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix and Sauber at the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix – but I can’t remember an occasion when the stewards barred a team from competing on safety grounds.

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27 comments on Video: Stewards may throw Red Bull out

  1. Robert McKay said on 21st March 2008, 13:46

    Surely having to throw a team out would highlight a failure of the FIA’s latest crash tests, which Red Bull successfully passed (albeit late on in the day), or am I looking at that too naively?

  2. Kris said on 21st March 2008, 13:56

    The crash tests are supposed to check that the car withstands impact… not that the car won’t fall to pieces during normal operation.

    That crash looks mighty strange, and I for one will be raiding my recording of Australia for another look at the Coulthard/Massa crash to guage exactly how hard a whack Massa gave it.

  3. That Red Bull certainly looks fragile. That crash probably subjected the car to forces in unusual places…

  4. Journeyer said on 21st March 2008, 14:06

    Very interesting.  We should see a decision on this by FP3 tomorrow?

    Wow, STR is becoming the 07 Aguri to Red Bull’s Honda.

  5. Scootin159 said on 21st March 2008, 14:10

    From reading over at autosport, it sounds as though the complaint is not with the front suspension buckling when hitting the curb (Red Bull actually made a claim that this is a GOOD thing as it reduces the chances of the car being catapulted when hitting such an object)… but more so with the track rod end failure which caused him to go off the track in the first place.

    Red Bull is claiming that this was an isolated failure due to "a cold-bond adhesive hadn’t been prepared properly", and that they will actually be using ‘high mileage’ parts in the Grand Prix.  Must be this is one case where ‘seasoned’ parts are actually better than ‘new’ parts.

    That said… I’m somewhat suspicious how Massa was able to continue on, whereas Couthard’s car exploded after their collision last weekend… not to mention Webber’s rear suspension failure.

    Before the Stewards make a decision though, they should remember Montreal(?) last year where Toyota ran the grand prix with their driver’s having specific orders to avoid using the curbs, as they WILL break suspension components (remember Trulli’s car breaking two front suspensions while just using the curbs as normal?).

  6. Scootin159 said on 21st March 2008, 14:19

    Looking at the video of the Massa:Couthard collision… perhaps Massa simply fared better due to the fact his wheel was on the ground, whereas Couthard’s was in the air.  This would allow Massa’s wheel/tire to transfer some of the force to the ground, and not 100% through the suspensions… while Couthard’s wheel was in the air, placing all that force directly on the suspension components.

  7. The Massa incident was strange – when two cars collide, one hitting with the front wheel and the other being hit further back you would expect the "front wheel" car to be the one that retires but the Ferrari seemed unusually strong and the Red Bull particularly weak.

    Given that this year looks likely to include a fair bit of bumping and bashing it would appear Mr Newey has got his designs spectacularly wrong.

    The video of this incident seems to show both front suspensions failing just by DC simply running over a kerb – not a really high impact incident and one a car should be able to withstand easily I would have thought.

    What the clip doesn’t show is what went on at the back of the car to cause him to go off the track in the first place  – which will be of concern to the FIA and the team in general.

    This can’t have been a confidence-boosting start to the season for the Red Bull drivers that’s for sure.

  8. A different sort of headlines Red Bulls are making this Friday … What a difference can one week make

  9. Scootin159 said on 21st March 2008, 15:45

    Anyone else notice that the front right wheel tether broke as well?

  10. Journeyer said on 21st March 2008, 15:57

    Yup, torn completely off the car.  Shouldn’t that have stayed on?  I mean, it was a pretty big off, but it wasn’t as big as, say, Kubica’s in Canada.

  11. Dan M said on 21st March 2008, 16:20

    In qually Webber had a bad crash when a brake rotor exploded. This could have been alot worse then it was as he missed hitting the wall close to him on the left hand side and gradually came to a stop.

    If you brake rotors and suspension are failing on short runs on a fairly smooth track, what does that say about there reliablity….. On the other hand the STR’s had problems unrelated to the design of the car.

    I havent seen the crash (Im at work and they block all video sights) but if teather broke that should be reason enough to keep the car off the track. What it the teather failed on Kubica last year, it could have launched a tire into the crowd not to mention what it can do to the driver….

  12. MR H&S said on 21st March 2008, 16:47

    How are the front wheels tethered on?

  13. Fer no.65 said on 21st March 2008, 17:41

    wow, incredible!… so strange!

    well, Keith, Planet-f1.com review of the Australian race showed some worries about F1 cars’ fragility… Many cars had troubles without having a big crash… Strangely Massa’s Ferrari following Coulthard crash could continue.

    But this somehow dissapoints me. In fact, it’s a bigger problem than i might think. First because imagine how confident Coulthard and Webber can be now that they know the suspension can be so fragile. I bet David was looking at the car after the crash thinking: "what the hell happened there???"

    Also. How aggresive can you be while overtaking another driver if the cars explode into pieces every time it slightly touches another car?? and how hard can you keep your position if you know that you could be out of the race and loose your potential points finish if the other car touches you?

    it might sound stupid but that’s what i think… The drivers needs to be soooo sure they will overtake the car in front that they need to wait all the race to do it… it’s quite frustrating…

    you have to look at the safety reasons too, that kind of crash should be dangerous for everyone…

  14. SoLiD said on 21st March 2008, 18:19

    I must say when i saw the DC – Massa crash I immediatly thought it was strange how DC’s suspension broke…seems as tough I was right…
    In a way it indeed is safer in case of a collision, when you get in the air and it breaks, you can’t be lauched by your wheel…
    but it’s not ideal no :)

  15. Brad Pitney said on 21st March 2008, 18:49

    Dan M said: On the other hand the STR’s had problems unrelated to the design of the car.

    Erm, STR is using a 2007 spec car, until Bahrain.

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