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Another open cockpit near-miss: Oliver Rowland, FR2.0
17th September 2012, 8:43 at 8:43 am #132095
Oliver Rowland had a near-miss when Daniel Kvyat landed on the cockpit of his car during a Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup race at the Hungaroring last weekend:
Apparently Rowland had Kvyat’s tyre marks on his helmet after the crash.17th September 2012, 9:28 at 9:28 am #210521
As much as I would feel its a big shift to close up the cockpit in single-seater cars I think we (or rather the people inside the sport) should work to get those front roll-bars developed, tested, homogenized and installed on the cars ASAP before we have to mourn a death.
This just feels far to much like getting more and more warnings and not reacting to them in time17th September 2012, 10:43 at 10:43 am #210522
Just throwing it out there, when did we last see a death as a result of another vehicle striking a driver in open cockpit racing?
It looks to be an inevitable step now, but I still think an anti-roll bar is unnecessary. The drivers are aware of the risks, Mark Webber has said in his recent BBC F1 collumn that this is part of the appeal of open cockpit racing.17th September 2012, 11:07 at 11:07 am #210523
Cloooose!17th September 2012, 11:13 at 11:13 am #210524
Covering the cockpit doesn’t just prevent other cars from hitting your head. it would have prevented the deaths of Dan Wheldon and henry Surtees, and it would have prevented the horrific head injuries suffered by Felipe Massa and Maria De Villotta. Of course, in every one of these situations the cause was different, and it would be possible to identify changes which would prevent each one of them from happening again. But they all serve to highlight the vulnerability of the driver’s head.
There was an accident in the Sau Paulo 6 hours on the opening lap which ended up with a Ferrari GT car sliding over the top of a closed-cockpit prototype. if the prototype had been open-cockpitted, then over a ton of Ferrari would have crushed the driver’s head onto his neck.
I do think that the issue needs very careful thought and a proper solution needs to be implemented. There are a number of other safety issues raised by enclosing the cockpit, mostly to do with driver extraction, which need to be addressed. What we really don’t want to see is a driver injured by a situation which was directly caused by them being enclosed.17th September 2012, 11:57 at 11:57 am #210525
I dont think Dan Wheldon’s death was open cockpit related, it was more of the epic forces involved when hitting the safety fence on the oval after being launched.17th September 2012, 12:08 at 12:08 pm #210526
You’re wrong. Dan Wheldon was killed by severe head trauma when the car hit the supporting post for the catch fence.17th September 2012, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #210527
Maria De Villotta is an awful example. The lesson to be taken from that is don’t have a dangerous environment (don’t drive into trucks).17th September 2012, 12:33 at 12:33 pm #210528
The cause of the accident is irrelevant though; point is that it’s an accident where the driver’s exposed head has been severely injured, and that injury could have been avoided if the cockpit had some sort of protection over it.17th September 2012, 13:17 at 1:17 pm #210529
I disagree, it is highly relevant. The cause of Dan Wheldon’s death wasn’t lack of a canopy, it was factors that created the accident itself, and these factors are what have rightly been addressed (reduce chance of launching cars, pack racing etc.). The environment should always be safe as a main priority. Had that been the case, an accident would have been entirely avoided in Maria’s case. I’m not saying cockpit protection isn’t an option, but a bizarre accident like that is not a good example, because F1 cars shouldn’t be near trucks in the first place. In the same vein, if Heidfeld had crashed and received head injuries when he drove on the Nordschleife a few years ago, that would be justification for F1 not racing there any more, not evidence that better head protection is needed.
If there is a sudden spate of people drowning in rough seas, or other places/situations where it’s ill-advised to swim, the answer isn’t to make every swimmer in the country always wear armbands, it’s to prevent the dangerous swimming.17th September 2012, 23:30 at 11:30 pm #210530
You sense it’s only a matter of time before something horrible goes wrong. Sure, for as long as we have had open cockpit cars we’ve had these near misses, but they’re being brought into greater focus.
Perhaps a canopy which doesn’t go entirely over the cockpit and which is transparent would be a start. This would help the with the problem of how to extract the driver while still offering protection from flying debris and other cars. I know there are many technical issues to sort, such as what to do about rain, but surely they can be overcome in the charged environment in F1.
I’ve included a sketch I made showing the concept. As you can see, I’m amazing at drawing(!)18th September 2012, 13:47 at 1:47 pm #210531
I sure hope closed cockpits never appear. Formula One racing should be dangerous. I don’t want these guys getting hurt and I don’t mind a roll cage but a full canopy will make f1 lose appeal to me. I think the 40 million paycheck that Alonso gets should come with those risks.18th September 2012, 15:12 at 3:12 pm #210532
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a 1995 Sauber racing against a 1995 Footwork. but this video had just that!18th September 2012, 15:15 at 3:15 pm #210533
Yeah, how dare they consider their lives more important than our entertainment. Bunch of pansies. They should count themselves lucky they even get helmets. if I had my way I’d make them drive on two metre wide tracks on cars with no bodywork whatsoever, with a sheer drop on each side into a pit full of spikes made out of sharks.
Literally the only thing that I find appealing about Formula One is the prospect that I might get to see a person’s head torn open and its contents smeared across the road like a careless hedgehog. If you remove that danger then, well, frankly you can count me out!
(there may be some slight sarcasm in the previous statement)18th September 2012, 17:28 at 5:28 pm #210534
I sense your comment was directed toward me mazda Chris and that is not what I meant at all.
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