Grosjean's "freak" crash shows "a lot of safety to improve" - Wolff
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned there is "a lot of safety to improve" in Formula One after Romain Grosjean's crash in Bahrain on Sunday highlighted two specific areas of concern.
Wolff believes it was a "freak accident" but added the investigation must focus on why Grosjean's car pierced the barrier and also why it burst into flames, leaving the Frenchman fighting to extract himself from the survival cell.
Wolff said: "The angle at which [Grosjean] crashed into the barrier, I don’t think that the car was flat. I think that the car was slightly sideways and the angle must have been so precise like a knife going through the barrier.
"I didn’t think these modern barriers would split like this so we need to analyse why that happened and how can we optimise the barriers in the future."
The incident marked the first time an F1 car has crashed and caught fire in a race since the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in 1989, where Gerhard Berger's Ferrari had a heavy off at the old Tamburello corner.
That was also flagged as a major concern because, although F1 cars are now designed to split in two on certain impacts, the survival cell should separate cleanly from the fuel cell and engine, eliminating the risk of fire.
Wolff added: "I think the last accident with fire happened at Imola 30 years ago. A fuel cell should always stay intact and a car breaking shouldn’t be happening, that the rear breaks off with the engine and not the engine staying with the chassis."
The FIA has already begun its investigation of the incident, drawing in experts to focus on each specific detail, and Wolff believes no stone will be left unturned in the quest to uncover the causes and develop future solutions.
"There are lots of things to learn and a lot of safety to improve," he said. "I have no doubt with all of us pulling together and the FIA, with the tools they have available, we are going to improve the safety of those cars and of the race track even more.”
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