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F1

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F1 discussion

The dangers of motorsport

This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 3 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #130408
    Profile photo of Younger Hamii
    Younger Hamii
    Participant

    Right 2 Fatalities in 2 Weeks for the World of Motorsport,Its too early to question safety but what im going to say is that im really concerned that something might happen in another Motorsport Category,especially where in F1 we’re heading to a New track(India,Buddh International Circuit) that has probably the longest straight in the F1 Calendar finished with heavy braking into a Hairpin,

    I know they’ve doubled the amount of Wheel Tethers on a Car from this year onwards but in general Guys im just concerned,What do you think of Motorsport today & how far it has come in terms of Safety

    Cheers!!!

    #183607
    Profile photo of James_mc
    James_mc
    Participant

    I’ll admit I’m concerned about this weekend. Mainly because these things sometimes come in spates. For instance Imola had a serious crash for Barichello, Ratzenberger, Senna, injuries from a wheel into the crowd, a wheel loose in the pitlane (perhaps the same one, not sure). The following week Wendlinger was put in a serious coma.

    Now that you mention that it is a new circuit, I would be intrigued to know where they are sourcing the marshals from. Obviously India has experience of other motor racing events, but not something this big. I know that Abu Dhabi shipped in some Silverstone marshals for the opening race.

    The continual calls for the strengthening wheel tethers or similar sometimes irritates me slightly as the tethers shall only work if they’re attached to something solid, and if they get much stronger they shall just rip the chassis apart.

    While I am wary of over-reactions to what can be freak accidents, I am always mindful of what Jackie Stewart wrote in his autobiography about how he was disliked/resented by other drivers and by fans (and that’s putting it mildly!) for pushing safety. Motorsport has come a long way in the past 40 years. Even in the 1970’s, events similar to the past two weekends were commonplace.

    #183608
    Profile photo of Zadak
    Zadak
    Member

    The MotoGP accident comes from one of the things in bike racing that will probably never get fixed. If you fall off, someone else can drive over you, it’s sad but I don’t see any way this can ever be fixed.

    Most open cockpit deaths are caused by the lack of head protection. A canopy like a jet fighter would fix this problem.

    Motorsport is extremily safe compared to what it was like only 20 years ago and it’s only getting safer.

    #183609
    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    im really concerned that something might happen in another Motorsport Category, especially where in F1 we’re heading to a New track (India, Buddh International Circuit) that has probably the longest straight in the F1 Calendar finished with heavy braking into a Hairpin,

    As tragic as they were, the deaths of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli do not automatically make the circuit in India unsafe simply because it has a long straight and a heavy braking zone.

    Wheldon’s death was the result of several factors: a thirty-four car grid racing in incredibly close proximity on a 1.5-mile short-track oval speedway with no run-off areas. You can find none of these in Formula 1. Indeed, Formula 1 requires circuits to hold a Grade-1 licence to host a race; Indycar only requires Grade-2, which has a lower safety requirement.

    Simoncelli’s death was a result of him being hit by another bike. Motorcycle racing is very different to car racing, because accidents often involve riders being completely exposed. None of the factors that influenced Simoncelli’s death can be found in Formula 1.

    I hate to say it, @younger-hamii, but your reaction is exactly what I was cautioning against in the wake of Wheldon’s accident: “OH NO A RACER DIED IT’S NOT SAFE WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW!!”. And when you study what happened in simplest form, you’re probably right: a racer died while racing. But these accidents are not simple things; Dan Wheldon’s death came in a fifteen-car pile-up, and Wheldon was the fifteenth and last car to crash.

    If there is a problem that needs to be addressed, then it needs to be addressed carefully and scientifically, whatever public and political pressure is applied to the sport to make it safer. Rushing in changes could potentially do more harm than good, because they can easily fail to dress the problem entirely and create a false sense of security.

    Most open cockpit deaths are caused by the lack of head protection. A canopy like a jet fighter would fix this problem.

    Actually, that wouldn’t do anything at all, @thezadak – it might further protect against head trauma, but a canopy would have done nothing to save Dan Wheldon. Sure, the FIA fired tyes into the canopy at racing speeds to see what happened, but did they fire a chassis with a canopy into a wall upside-down at 350km/h?

    Canopies might protect against head trauma, but they create more problems than they solve. The curved shape will distort a driver’s field of view, making it harder to judge distances and spaces. In humid conditions, they can mist up, forcing a driver to pit unfairly. In the event of a serious accident, they are a barrier to safety crews trying to access a driver; when Nick Heidfeld’s car caught fire in Hungary, he had to get out straight away – but if there was a canopy over his head, it would have slowed him down. Not to mention that racing overalls are only designed to offer thirty seconds’ protection from fire, so if it took more than thirty seconds for Heidfeld to get out, he would have been in more danger than without the canopy. And in the event of serious damage, it may even be impossible to open the canopy; when Jaime Alguersuari hit Vitaly Petrov in Monaco, Petrov was knocked unconscious. If he had a canopy, safety crews would have taken longer to get to him, and if that canopy had jammed, they would have struggled to get to him at all.

    You are correct when you say more racing deaths are caused by head trauma. However, comparatively few accidents actually involve head trauma at all. When Dan Wheldon died, fifteen cars crashed out – but only one driver actually had hed injuries. One in fifteen might sound like entirely too many, but compare that to every accident in Indycar this year, or in the past three years – in that time, only one driver, Dan Wheldon, had had head trauma.

    Canopies are a knee-jerk reaction to incidents that, while serious, are isolated.

    #183610
    Profile photo of raymondu999
    raymondu999
    Participant

    I agree with @prisoner-monkeys canopies aren’t the end-all be-all. They do help in some situations, but not in others.

    It would save accidents like Schumacher-Liuzzi in Abu Dhabi last year or DC – WUrz in Melbourne… (2005?) but there are quite a few drawbacks like slowing down a getaway. Not to mention those times when a collision would jam the canopy in place. If there’s a fire or anything the driver is doomed.

    #183611
    Profile photo of TimG
    TimG
    Participant

    For instance Imola had a serious crash for Barichello, Ratzenberger, Senna, injuries from a wheel into the crowd, a wheel loose in the pitlane (perhaps the same one, not sure). The following week Wendlinger was put in a serious coma.

    @James_mc – The wheel that went into the crowd was from the collision between JJ Lehto’s Benetton, which stalled at the start, and Pedro Lamy’s Lotus. The wheel that came loose in the pitlane and injured a number of mechanics was from Michele Albereto’s Minardi. Karl Wendlinger’s crash at Monaco was two weeks after Imola and was followed a fortnight later by another serious accident in Barcelona qualifying for Simtek’s Andrea Montermini. There were also some other nasty crashes well before the Imola weekend – Lehto and Jean Alesi had both been injured in testing accidents and missed races, Lamy suffered an enormous testing crash at Silverstone which ended his time in F1.

    #183612
    Profile photo of Slr
    Slr
    Participant

    I don’t think motorsport needs an radical safety improvements at the moment. The fact is that motorsport will never be completely safe, nothing in life is completely safe. Formula One cars are very safe right now, there have been some big accidents in recent years with have either left the driver walking away (e.g. Petrov at South Korea 2010), or drivers receiving just minor injuries (e.g. Kovalainen Spain 2008). Generally in my opinion, not much in needs to be changed at the moment.

    By the way @raymondu999 – Wurz and Coulthard’s coming together was 2007.

    #183613
    Profile photo of phil9079
    phil9079
    Participant

    I see the points of prisoner-monkeys. If they get the chance to compete in this sport, then they’ll do it whatever the costs might be, even if life depends on it.

    “You live like a racer, you die as a racer!” that’s what I would say…

    #183614
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    I’m not concerned about F1 but I am concerned about motorsport. When deaths happen in motorsport it always makes me question safety in general. I don’t feel there’s a greater risk this weekend and I’m not nervous. I’m on edge slightly because it’ll be the first race since two high profile deaths one of which might have been slightly preventable because of the track and another which was just an accident that comes with the territory of bike racing. Sometimes things can be done and sometimes it won’t ever matter how many improvements will be made. Safety advancements must always be pushed forward though in my mind but not as a knee jerk reaction (for example I don’t believe closed canopies just be thrown in right now as I don’t see how that’s a step forward because a driver can possibly risk being trapped so it just feels more like a side step if it were to happen).

    I’m anxious because two racers have just died and it’s hit home that this sport isn’t safe which I admit I sometimes forget but I’m not worried about F1 as I think it’s probably the safest motor sport out there and this weekend shouldn’t be any different than all of the others.

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