Kerbs eased at Monza for safety reasons

The combination kerbs installed at Monza ahead of last year’s race have been changed again before the 2010 Italian Grand Prix in a bid to improve safety.

As highlighted in an F1 Fanatic article in May the raised section on the inside of the kerb created a risk of cars flying through the air after hitting them.

It happened during a Formula Two race earlier this year where Nicola de Marco was launched into the air after hitting the kerb. Fortunately the driver avoided hitting any passing cars at head height:

The humped kerb de Marco hit at the inside of turn one (Rettifilio) and another at turn four (della Roggia) have both been replaced with concrete.

Also since last year’s race a new cut-through has been built at the Rettifilio which was used for the World Superbike race at the track. It will not be used for the Grand Prix.

This low shot gives an impression of how high the kerbs were

This low shot gives an impression of how high the kerbs were (click to enlarge)

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16 comments on Kerbs eased at Monza for safety reasons

  1. Well done Keith for being the first to see the risk (?) (at least I read it here first). It really is a necessary change.

  2. I have an idea, why not remove them? That way theres asphalt where the drivers should drive, and grass where they shouldn’t. Used to work just fine as far as I know.

    • graigchq said on 7th September 2010, 15:13

      except for the fact that with NO penalty for driving over th kerbs, Messr’s Schumacher, Alonso and other short-cutters will use whatever excuse they can to “overtake” by cutting the corners rather than driving properly. Monza quite realistically takes safety as it’s primary concern, given that it has a very long list of drivers, marshals and spectators that have died over the years of racing there. Safety 1st, driving standards 2nd, “spectacle of the race” a lowly third, but i actually agree with all of it. Those high kerbs were too high, and the risk of injury or worse also too high. Using electronic sensors in the cars and kerbs like at spa would be the perfect solution, then, if a car blatantly cuts the corners again and again, he gets punished/penalised for it. Simple.. stopngo penalties for anyone cutting the corner more than twice in a race. Ensure all drivers are aware of this BEFORE the race, and bob’s ya mutha’s brutha.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th September 2010, 16:27

        I think they would want to look closely at the data from Spa and maybe they will install this for next year.
        It would certainly be a good safeguard against drivers regularly shortning the track there.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th September 2010, 17:30

        I still don’t see how that makes a straight asphalt/grass distinction a bad idea? The cars are going at quite slow speeds exiting the corners, which is where all the corner cutting takes place.

        • Heck why not soak the grass before the race. Wet grass = no grip at all. And no grip is something you do not want when coming out of a corner, especially if that corner is followed by a straight.

      • I love this system of using sensors, and if a driver cuts, the first time perhaps they can be giving a warning, and then after the stewards might consider a penalty if they do it again…

    • David B said on 7th September 2010, 15:22

      Agree a lot!!!
      It was much better some decades ago, I Think.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th September 2010, 16:20

    Good to see they react on experience and take away this dangerous “improvement” made last year.

  4. LewisC said on 7th September 2010, 17:04

    Taking these away is just the latest experiment in reducing speeds at Monza through the chicanes.

    I agree these kerbs were dangerous – they could have been designed to launch a car, and they did.

    But I can’t be the only one to remember these crazy tyre walls that did for Damon Hill one year? http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/alesi_schumacher_getty535.jpg

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th September 2010, 17:34

    If they don’t want the drivers cutting the kerbs, perhaps they shouldn’t have car-width shortcuts on the inside of the apexes.

    I like the small escape route in that GP2 video. If you’re going to cut the corner, make it so it can only be done blatantly. A triangle of grass would cut any advantage gained by cutting the kerb, and anyone genuinely avoiding an accident has somewhere legitimate to go.

    Oh wait, common sense!

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 8th September 2010, 3:08

      I thought that was the WSBK modification that won’t be used this year?

      In any case, I’m not so keen on this idea. If a driver went off violently onto the grass then onto the escape route, the change in traction may prove to be dangerous to other drivers. So while the solution may seem to be common sense, there is still an element of danger here.

  6. Which teams should the removal of the humped curbs particulary benefit?
    Am I right in thinking it’s a good thing for stiff cars like the McLaren?

  7. patrickl said on 8th September 2010, 13:07

    I think the danger of these kerbs is way overstated (hyped). A high kerb on the inside of the corner is only dangerous for cars which are completely out of control already.

    In that situation every type of surface has it’s dangers. Gravel can tip a car and cause a roll, grass can launch cars too, asphalt means they take more risk approaching the corner.

    Just about every track has these high ridges inside the kerbs nowadays. Noewhere have they shown to be a danger. Why remove them on Monza?

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