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  • Yeah, that scared me too. I’d partially heard a spoiler about a French driver earlier in the day so I figured it was him or Gasly involved. I guess the logic in my brain justified it wasn’t a fatality or they wouldn’t have showed it on the highlights. Must have been awful to watch live.

    I don’t think that car should have broken apart like that.

  • I don’t think that car should have broken apart like that.

    It's exactly what the car should do - the safety cell (where the driver is) should remain intact, and did, but the rest of the car should break into as many pieces as possible to absorb the impact. Especially at a speed like that.

  • Agreed, it's a far cry from Martin Donnelly's crash at Jerez where the car split around him.

  • Extraordinary and so good he is OK. Not sure if this was the same across all networks, but really pleased that BBC (radio) and Channel 4 didn't linger over the fire etc. I realize they don't have control over cameras etc but seemed right that they highlighted what was happening and then didn't turn it into disaster porn.

  • Ricciardo definitely made some comments to the contrary, which I think were mainly focussed around the time when the drivers were all stood in the pits during the red flag. I guess the world feed folks were basically of the opinion that once Romain gave the thumbs up it's fine to show the incident.

    Edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkbWR1zT­Ctk

  • Thanks, I hadn't seen that. Ricciardo is a class act!

  • My neighbour is on the live feed team for F1. I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about the decision to show the footage. I figured once RG was out and clearly not seriously hurt they thought it was fine. Notable they never showed the onboard impact tho....

  • It's exactly what the car should do - the safety cell (where the driver is) should remain intact, and did, but the rest of the car should break into as many pieces as possible to absorb the impact. Especially at a speed like that.

    That's not entirely true. In fact, I'm going to say it's not. In the old days, that's what carbon fibre cars did, but not today. Today's cars have a monocoque chassis (you've called it the safety cell) that the driver sits in. There are front, rear and side crash structures (nose, rear crash and SIS tubes) which must absorb an impact in a controlled way and side intrusion panels to protect the driver. In the pre-season crash tests for homologation, not only must a certain maximum deceleration on the driver not be exceeded from a particular speed, the chassis must not break when these are tested. That includes not breaking the gearbox (because the rear crash is on the back of it) and certainly not the engine breaking off the back.

  • certainly not the engine breaking off the back.

    I think that’s mainly in high-end sports cars, no? Where the engine goes hurtling off down the highway, taking most of the crash inertia with it.

    Whoever came up with the halo should deserves a medal. Impact managed to shear the front partially, driver would’ve died in a split second.


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  • How the heck did he remain conscious after a 53G impact?!

  • Hans device?

    Maybe also the absorption materials in the helmet?

  • Maybe. It certainly explains why his head didn't snap clean off but just thought the forces on impact through his chest and torso might have been enough to knock him out. Remarkable that he was able to undo belts, hans, etc. and get out pretty much unaided, whilst on fire, after a hit like that.

  • It doesn't mean much without the duration. There's been far higher recorded impacts survived, >200G in Indycar iirc.

  • And damn lucky. Hopefully FIA will think the same as us and not become complacent about improving pilot safety.

    If anyone’s gonna survive that sort of impact, though, it’ll be a fighter jet pilot or an F1 pilot. Not sure if I’ve posted it here, but my favourite explanation of the incredible calibre of these athletes is that the most extreme roller coaster in the world creates g forces below the average F1 race turn. Or something like that, point is these guys cope with those rollercoaster forces repeatedly during a race while manoeuvring cars that are more powerful, more sensitive and more aerodynamic than anything the layperson will ever experience.

    Edit- can’t remember original sources for my numbers, but info I found today says average turn is 4-6G, top g forces above 8G.

  • I read something about an improved race suit having been introduced this year which although heavier, it protects the driver from fire for 20 seconds, as opposed to the gloves which are still only rated for 10 seconds as was the case for the previous race suits. Yet another stroke of luck.

    Definitely no time for complacency. I've kind of lost track of F1 since we lost free to air races so don't know who's championing safety these days, but we certainly wouldn't be where we are without the work in years gone by of Sid Watkins and Charlie Whiting.

  • This is true, it's not the biggest impact we've seen in F1 either. Two that come to mind are Alonso at Interlagos in 2003 and Kubica in Canada 2007, both absolutely huge shunts. But whichever way you look at it, Grosjean went from 137mph to zero rather abruptly. And unlike the other two he didn't really have time to come to terms with the impact, shake himself off and then try to get out. It's not the survival of the impact that amazed me (although still incredible), it was his ability to get out of that fireball in 28 seconds or so after an impact of that magnitude.

  • don't know who's championing safety these days

    This year's been a mess in that regard IMO. Starting quali sessions in the wet in Turkey while cars are still being removed from the track. The safety car restart in Mugello. Letting cars unlap themselves while marhsals were still on track clearing debris at Imola. And that's only in the last few races.

  • I do wonder how many of the normal f1/fia crew were out of action due to COVID (being unwell, unable to travel etc). Could have a huge impact.

  • Personally I put it down to the vacuum left by Charlie Whiting. Not sure any of those calls I mentioned above could be put down to a lack of personel. There's one person who's job it is to make those calls and I think some of those calls have been pretty damn dangerous.

    I wouldn't attribute things like the marhsal running across the track to put out the fire in Perez's car, that was just a marshall's bad call (IMO, and understandable to an extent given how the race started). But for me it's just Michael Masi making some bad calls.

  • Hamilton positive for Covid, should be interesting to see who steps in. Think Vandoorne is the official reserve but it'd be great for Hulk to step in and finally get a podium.

  • Hulkenberg would be in a no-win position if he gets the drive. Should he get the podium then he'll be put down for only being able to do it in the best car in the field. And if he doesn't get the podium then the ridicule would be never-ending. Hopefully he doesn't care about the court of public opinion, gets the drive and steps on to the podium or maybe even gets the win.

  • it'd be great for Hulk to step in and finally get a podium.

    I think everybody is rooting for him.

  • It'd be really nice to throw Russell at the seat for a race (I know it's not going to happen). Would be really interesting to see what he could do in a good car. Then give a go in the Williams to Aitken

  • Hopefully he doesn't care about the court of public opinion, gets the drive and steps on to the podium or maybe even gets the win.

    I think this is the more likely outcome. I'd say you have to be a pretty decent driver to get offered the chance so are no more undeserving than the usual drivers.

    Doubt it'll happen, Merc will stick their reserve in there and shouldn't have any troubles picking up a double podium.

  • Would be really interesting to see what he could do in a good car.

    I doubt it'll be long before we see that. Wouldn't be surprised if he's there in 2022. Though considering how Bottas does seem to do a better job in quali than the race, it'd be interesting to see how the two compare on that front.

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Formula One ( F1 )

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