F1 “has a duty” to learn and improve - former FIA safety director
Ferrari sporting director and former FIA safety director Laurent Mekies feels Formula 1 is duty-bound to learn from the safety issues that occurred in Romain Grosjean’s Bahrain crash on Sunday.
Mekies, who worked for the governing body between 2014 and 2018 and also held the position of deputy race director, backed its efforts to improve safety in recent years but said the progress must never stop.
“We have the duty, as the sport always does, to look at the next steps,” said Mekies. “You use every accident and every near miss to try to learn what you can do better.
“You have to give a well done to all the people involved because Romain is in good shape. It is not happening automatically. Somehow, the push for safety that characterises our sport has helped.
“I am sure in the analysis that the FIA will do of the crash there will be many small elements. There will be a drive for the next safety improvements for the drivers.”
Mekies pointed to concerns over the splitting of the guardrail, which was scythed open by the nose of Grosjean’s Haas and allowed the survival cell to shoot all the way through.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel also aired his worries about that issue as he said: “That puts the marshals who are voluntarily working for our safety in massive danger, so that is a point to consider.
“The guardrail mustn’t fail. There are people who are behind the guardrail, the marshals, and if the car is not stopped by the guardrail then that’s not enough and there needs to be something stronger than the guardrail.“
As far as I am concerned Formula 1 has always been duty-bound. The Halo for instance which was implemented irrespective of driver objections. It is always easy to find fault after an incident occurs. I would like to know if Grosjean had hit the replacement concrete, would he have survived the impact, would he have been unconscious and unable to get out? I feel tyre barriers would have cushioned the impact. Safety of drivers has always been of paramount importance to F1 and FIA. That is why Grosjean survived with minor injuries
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