One of the saddest stories we’ve had to report in recent months, has been the ongoing safety issues with Formula 1 racing, following on from the tragic crash involving driver Jules Bianchi, who hit a recovery tractor during a yellow flag lap at the Japanese Grand Prix. Since then there’s been a lot of talk of how to make the sport safer, with the consensus now being that F1 should trial a speed limiter, or virtual safety car, that artificially prevents the cars from reaching certain speeds in dangerous parts of the track should an accident occur.
However while that decision has been made, the F1 has also brought in several industry experts to consult on any other potential safety measures that could be brought to bear to prevent drivers from having such accidents in the future.
Two of the biggest names brought in, were Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali, former Mercedes and Ferrari team leaders. They now make up a senior part of a team that at this stage is about 10 strong. Other members according to the Telegraph, include: incoming head of the Grand Prix Driver’s Association, Alex Hurst; Emmerson Fittiapaldi, who was a world champion in the early 70s and has served as president of the FIA drivers’ commission in the past and Peter Wright, the president of the FIA’s safety commission. They’ll be making a report over the next few weeks, with plans to present it to the World Motor Sport Council in Qatar on 3rd December.
The FIA’s statement on the formation of the investigatory team was as follows: “The group will carry out a full review of the accident to gain a better understanding of what happened, and will propose new measures to reinforce safety at circuits, with recommendations to be made for the FIA president. The work of the group will start this week and a full presentation of its findings is to be made at the next meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.”
Other F1 drivers have spoken out since the Bianchi accident, stating that they would welcome implementation of measures like virtual safety cars. However fans of the sport have suggested that anything more than the current flag system would jeopardise the nature of the sport itself.
In other F1 news, if and (hopefully) when Jules Bianchi recovers from his accident he may not have a team to go home to as the Marussia F1 team has just this week filed for bankruptcy, entering administration under the FRP Advisory organisation. This has put the future of other smaller teams in question, with Lotus and Sauber also said to be strapped for money at this time.
Smaller teams have repeatedly called for a spending cap in F1 to make it easier for them to compete against massive conglomerates, but fans and many commenters have suggested that would also put a cap on the sport’s innovation.
Image source: Tim Wang