Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Maranello, 2009

Better cockpit protection expected for 2014

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe says improved cockpit protection is “inevitable” for F1 cars.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

New head safety planned for 2014 (BBC)

“After the race in Belgium, Lowe said he thought changes could be made in time for 2014. ‘We started the project a year ago,’ he said. ‘We’ll see. Personally, I think something is inevitable because it is the one big exposure we’ve got.'”

Romain Grosjean sorry for causing huge crash in Belgian Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“I accept my mistake. I misjudged the gap with Lewis. I thought I was in front of him. It was a small mistake, but a big incident. I’m very sorry, and I’m just glad nobody is hurt. That’s the main thing.”

Hamilton tweet ‘an error of judgement’ (Autosport)

“One rival team boss told Autosport that it had been ‘gold dust’ for his engineers in understanding the performance of the MP4-27.”

Schumacher still a true fighter, says Vettel (Reuters)

“It doesn’t matter where you get Michael on the circuit, whether you’re fighting for first place or 15th, he will fight like hell which is great to see. He hasn’t lost it. It obviously makes it hard for you but it’s always a great challenge. It’s very close with him but always fair.”

Paying the penalty (Sky)

Mark Hughes: “Pastor’s accidents really do seem to be triggered by ‘red mist’ – in high stress situations, he seems unable to control his emotions. His incident with Grosjean in Australia can be written off as just two hard racers being uncompromising with each other. But banging wheels with Sergio Perez in Monaco practice this year or with Hamilton at Spa last year, barging back onto the track and into an accident with Hamilton at Valencia this year: these are all red mist incidents. It means that when he makes a genuinely innocent misjudgement, like his blocking of Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying on Saturday, he is penalised.”

Spa, Stewards, Standards and Safety… (The Buxton Blog)

“The only answer, as far as I see it, is to start parking drivers. Just as they have with Grosjean. You want to make a racing driver think about his actions? You want to hit him where it hurts? Don?t make his wallet lighter. Don?t make him start a few places back down the grid. Just show him how it feels to sit at home and watch a race in which he should be taking part.”


Comment of the day

Some great additions to the Belgian Grand Prix Stats and Facts from @Andae23:

No German driver started the race from the top nine. This is the first time this has happened since the 2003 Japanese GP: in that race, Heidfeld started from only 11th. Frentzen, Michael and Ralf Schumacher started from 12th, 14th and 19th respectively.

This was Raikkonen?s sixth podium of the year without a win. That means that if he doesn?t pick up a win this year, he will have the most podiums in one season without a win since himself in the 2006 season. In 2006, he scored six podium, but didn?t win a single race that year. The record for most podiums without a win in one season is Button in the 2004 season and Barrichello in the 2001 season (ten podiums).

Pastor Maldonado hasn?t scored any points in the seven Grands Prix following his victory in Spain. This is the longest drought for a race winner since Giancarlo Fisichella in 2003. Following his race win in Brazil, he didn?t score a point in the next eleven Grands Prix.

From the archive

The huge crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix evoked memories of some of the other huge first lap shunts seen in F1 before. Here’s ten of the biggest:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jack Brabham scored his third and final world championship victory on this day in 1966.

He became the first and, so far, only driver to win the championship in his own car, driving a Brabham-Repco BT19. He retired just seven laps into the race but when championship rival John Surtees dropped out 24 laps later, Brabham’s title was assured.

Here’s some footage from the weekend, though little of the race, which saw Ludovico Scarfiotti score a dream win at home for Ferrari:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

117 comments on “Better cockpit protection expected for 2014”

Jump to comment page: 1 2
  1. @keithcollantine wrong day for Rubens Barrichello’s last win – it was 13th September… but Montoya took his penultimate F1 win in the 2005 Italian Grand Prix.

    1. Thanks I’ve replaced the On This Day with a correct one.

  2. The obvious answer is to fit highly sensitive proximity (parking?) sensors on the SIDES of the cars. These would help the drivers in close quarters situations and overtakes. They would add miniscule weight and help with the high cockpit blind spot. I doubt that Grosjean ( or any other driver) was looking anywhere but forward at the start – an alarm in his ear and a flashing steering wheel light may have caused him to turn away from Hamilton

    1. The problem with that though, is that in somewhere like Monaco or Singapore, where they go so close to the walls that they are actually kissing it with the tyre sidewall in some places, so on a lap of Monaco those proximity sensors would beep like a mad man all through the race which will distract the driver. Also, it might make the drivers dependent on those sensors, so the day one driver has had a small incident and its been ripped off the car, or a technical glitch means it doesn’t work he might sideswipe another car.
      But I agree that something has to be done about the huge blindspots they have on their side. They simply don’t know whats in there.

      1. Take your point but at Monaco they could blank them or maybe tune them – anyway no one gets alongside at Monaco unless they are having a crash!!!?

    2. lol maybe they should have spotters as well like NASCAR.

      the way of the world today is blind overreaction by armchair experts

  3. I’m no gold miner, is gold dust good or bad? As in could they learn lots about the McLaren or not?

    1. Its very valuable, but if you sneeze, its gone!

    2. @julian
      I think it means it is valuable, but too little information.

      The only things I could read out is the rideheight (?), and the speed data: HAM had 292ish at the end of kemmel straight without DRS, while BUT is nearing 305kph also without DRS, and that they only used DRS in the 2nd and 3rd sector on those particular laps, and HAM had 314-315kph before the bus stop while BUT had about 320kph.
      The valuable information comes from comparing the two rearwings, as HAM had the high downforce wing and BUT the low downforce wing. Other teams can see where the Mclaren improved, and exactly how mutch that upgrade worth, but it wont give any developement advantage for another team. (Only if I read it right)

      1. Ahhhh awesome. Thanks to the both of you :)

      2. You don’t need anyone’s telemetry traces to measure precisely his speed and accelleration at a given point on the track. Ride-height, maybe. But I doubt that the teams are just guessing about rivals’ ride-height, chassis rake, camber, toe, or anything else physically observeable. It was foolish for Hamilton to post the sheet, but it’s value is trivial. It’s not like it tells you what gas McLaren is using in its tires.

      3. What about wing angle. If a car is setup for higher downforce, the wing angle plays a big factor. The data is completely meaningless to anyone. Last year they had almost exactly the same speed differential or more and they were running the same wing but setup up for different amounts of downforce.

  4. I don’t know if this point has been raised on here, but I will say it anyway. I spoke about this on my twitter:

    It is all well and good saying that we want better head protection for drivers, with one of the more feasible options being the “roll-cage” type protection. Yes, this would help the drivers from stray wheels etc. However, if this had been implemented for this season the consequences could have been a lot worse on Sunday. The roll cage is very likely to have penetrated Grosjean’s car. From this, a number of things could have happened: Grosjean’s car split in two; his car could have been span around into Alonso’s cockpit (which, as I’m sure you agree could have resulted in the worst); or rolled Grosjean’s car. Now, this obviously wouldn’t be the case if they didn’t have the “roll-cage” type head protection. But, if the F.I.A do decide to go ahead with this type of head protection, they need to ensure that there is no potential harm to a driver’s cars if they go over the top of another’s…

  5. F1 will never be the same once the enclose the drivers. I for one am very sad to see this happen. No one wants to see drivers hurt but people do want to see them taking risks, it’s what separates them from us. As an F1 fan for 30 years i think i will lose interest in the sport.

  6. No, its 219 hits in 50 seconds!

  7. Call me an idiot, but I think the cockpits should stay as they are.

  8. Their is truth in the the Maldonado article. Let’s not forget that three of his penalties this year have been gearbox related, which he has little or no control over yet is still penalised. Fundamentally he is a good driver and I’m confident he will snap out of his occasional red mist. Williams do seem to be on the up again and from next year maybe he will have further confidence in the team so he doesn’t need to push quite so aggressively.

  9. If anything, the Hamilton ‘twitter’ fiasco, in my opinion, will prove more damaging to Lewis than it will McLaren. Can anybody imagine what would have happened has this occured at Red Bull or Ferrari? I seriously doubt they would be so forgiving, nor would they be keen to have such a driver in their ranks. Many will scoff at this, especially when one thinks of Fernando Alonso’s track record at McLaren and at Renault. However, Alonso’s career has only become stronger since 2007 while Hamilton’s has floundered. Since becoming champion in 2008, Hamilton has not mounted a single championship charge unlike Fernando this year and in 2010. And I think Hamilton is starting to feel this!
    I take nothing away from his talent, he is very gifted, but its his attitude. If his attitude were in tune with his driving talent, he would be a real force and that is the sad aspect of Lewis at the moment.

Jump to comment page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.