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Head injuries in F1, and motor racing in general...


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#1 RTH

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 18:21

Following the tragic fatal accident last weekend to Henry Surtees when he was hit on the head by a wheel and corner broken off a car in front of him comes another serious accident of similar nature less than a week later.

It has just been reported on BBCTV with live analysis in the studio by John Watson that Filipe Massa has sustained a serious head injury after being hit in the face by the torsion bar assembly which detached itself from the rear of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car , in this afternoon's qualifying session in Hungary.
Slow motion replay from inside Massa's car shows clearly the sequence of events and a photo of Massa still with his helmet on shows damage to helmet and visor in the area of Massa's left eye covered in blood. Massa remained concious and lucid but was immediately air lifted to hospital and has had a successful operation for a fractured skull and remains in intensive care.
He will of course play no further part in the race meeting and there is now a 5 week gap before the next GP.

It is another very frightening incident which brings back the awful memories of Ayton Senna at Imola in 1994, and Dr Helmut Marko, amongst many others.

Thankfully apparently it is not so serious, never the less it is an extrememly nasty thing to happen and I wish Massa a complete and speedy recovery.

These recent incidents are by no means the only times drivers have been hit on the head by debris/objects from the track.
Perhaps it is time to investigate rigid cockpit ski slope shaped surround deflectors and/ or aircraft quality multi-laminated transparent windsreens , both items GP cars from the past have been fitted with. There is the capability now to fit very strong structures in this area , which is now the one part of the driver which is exposed despite relatively strong carbon fibre crash helmets.

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77288

Clearly this now wants looking at.


Edit:

Latest news at 20.20pm Sat evening

Massa's condition is now described as life threatening but stable and he is to be fully sedated overnight

Edited by RTH, 25 July 2009 - 19:26.


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#2 RTH

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 19:55

Ferrari statement

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=38537

#3 sterling49

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 20:06

How awful, I saw the incident on tv, 2 in 2 weeks? Let's hope for a full and speedy recovery and ensure that we do not have a 3rd................



#4 wolf sun

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 20:18

Awful indeed - it made me think of Marko, Servoz-Gavin, and even worse, Pryce. One can be under no illusions that not too long ago this would have certainly been a fatality. For all that is wrong with motor racing at this level these days, the advances in driver safety are enormous.

What makes me cringe though, is how the media - even respected news pages - quickly spread around graphic pictures of the injured Massa. I know that opinions are divided on that one, always have been, always will be, but I for one find this totally inappropriate.

Edited by wolf sun, 25 July 2009 - 20:37.


#5 PeterElleray

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 20:30

obviously a bad situation and understandable that there are calls for aircraft style reinforced cockpit lids.

this is something we had to spend a great deal of time and effort on with the GTP cars and there are a number of points worth noting:

1) you would need a full height roll hoop forwards of the driver to support the structure in case of a roll over incident - the screens we had would never have been self supporting and if one 'fractured' during inversion then the results dont bear thinking about. there would be some serious visability issues with this in a single seater and its not as straight forward structurally as it might appear .

2) if you do invert then there is no way you can get out under your own steam...

3) the drivers were never happy with the optical qualities the curvature would be more severe on a single seater and the issues that created the problem would be exaggerated.

4) might be a problem stopping them misting, we ended up with heating elements that were semi successful. i think in the more confined environment of an f1 cockpit teh situation will be more difficult to control. if you've ever stood next to a steaming driver after an hour and half in a race car you will understand..

5) very difficult to see how you could wipe one in the rain. oil also an issue.

6) some of these issues have been sidestepped in the past by cutting a slot for the driver to look out of. if that were to be adopted you can bet it that this is exactly where the next flying object would hit.

not saying it cant be done, but there are a few serious downsides and its far from being a case of strapping a lid on.

peter

#6 LotusElise

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 20:59

What makes me cringe though, is how the media - even respected news pages - quickly spread around graphic pictures of the injured Massa. I know that opinions are divided on that one, always have been, always will be, but I for one find this totally inappropriate.


I'm with you on that. It's an invasion into his privacy and it might be triggering to anyone who has suffered such an accident, or had a loved one suffer in such a way.

Let's hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.

#7 doc knutsen

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 21:32

Awful indeed - it made me think of Marko, Servoz-Gavin, and even worse, Pryce. One can be under no illusions that not too long ago this would have certainly been a fatality. For all that is wrong with motor racing at this level these days, the advances in driver safety are enormous.

What makes me cringe though, is how the media - even respected news pages - quickly spread around graphic pictures of the injured Massa. I know that opinions are divided on that one, always have been, always will be, but I for one find this totally inappropriate.


Spare a thought also for the talented Mike Spence in 1968.


#8 Chezrome

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 21:54

I'm with you on that. It's an invasion into his privacy and it might be triggering to anyone who has suffered such an accident, or had a loved one suffer in such a way.

Let's hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.


There has been a full fledge thread on this subject. I am in doubt. The pressstatements about Massa were very wishy washy. He was alright, he was not okay, he had gotten a blow to the chin... what would have been the problem for the medics to release immediately he had a cut above the right eye and a skullfracture?

It is not a pretty picture, and I sympathise with people who say they want to be spared the sight. However, at the same time I feel it's like watching boxing and not wanting to see the blooddrops fly around.

#9 MPea3

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 22:27

Now matter how safe they try and make it it's never very far from disaster is it?

#10 wolf sun

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 22:51

There has been a full fledge thread on this subject. I am in doubt. The pressstatements about Massa were very wishy washy. He was alright, he was not okay, he had gotten a blow to the chin... what would have been the problem for the medics to release immediately he had a cut above the right eye and a skullfracture?

It is not a pretty picture, and I sympathise with people who say they want to be spared the sight. However, at the same time I feel it's like watching boxing and not wanting to see the blooddrops fly around.



I think we are leaving TNF's turf with this thread (and maybe it should be moved, after all), still i feel compelled to reply to your statement.

Against my own better judgement I've spent some time this afternoon in kindergarten at RC, even posting there - until said picture popped up in various links. Honestly, had I known that so many people are able to establish a thorough medical diagnosis after looking at a picture, I'd have stopped visiting doctors years ago...cynisism aside, the informational value of a photograph showing someone lifted from a car, bleeding from a wound, one eye wide open in either shock or because of unconsciousness is about zero. The reason that immediate statements in such cases are often wrong or misleading is simply that it takes time to comprehend what has happened, and even more time to make a proper diagnosis.
Pictures like these immediately sell clicks (and magazines on Monday), that is why they are published, in my opinion.

As to the boxing analogy, that is not really valid, is it?

#11 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 05:57

obviously a bad situation and understandable that there are calls for aircraft style reinforced cockpit lids.
1) you would need a full height roll hoop forwards of the driver to support the structure in case of a roll over incident - the screens we had would never have been self supporting and if one 'fractured' during inversion then the results dont bear thinking about. there would be some serious visability issues with this in a single seater and its not as straight forward structurally as it might appear .
2) if you do invert then there is no way you can get out under your own steam...
3) the drivers were never happy with the optical qualities the curvature would be more severe on a single seater and the issues that created the problem would be exaggerated.
4) might be a problem stopping them misting, we ended up with heating elements that were semi successful. i think in the more confined environment of an f1 cockpit teh situation will be more difficult to control. if you've ever stood next to a steaming driver after an hour and half in a race car you will understand..
5) very difficult to see how you could wipe one in the rain. oil also an issue.
6) some of these issues have been sidestepped in the past by cutting a slot for the driver to look out of. if that were to be adopted you can bet it that this is exactly where the next flying object would hit.
not saying it cant be done, but there are a few serious downsides and its far from being a case of strapping a lid on.
peter


Some good points there Peter.

I don't think a canopy in the style of say a Spitfire fighter aircraft is likely to be a practical proposition for some of the reasons you mention. I am put in mind of the Protos driven by Brian Hart in the early 1960's - but that was done in an attempt to reduce aerodynamic drag not for safety reasons and was quite flimsy

Rather than arrest a piece of debris, (this steel component it is reported weighs 800 grams but hit Massa's helmet with a closing speed in excess of 150MPH) the aim should be to deflect it away from the drivers helmet.
The current fashion for front edge of the cockpit opening is a flat line with shape body and the helmet quite exposed to the airflow save sometimes a very shallow perspex rim to deflect the air to reduce buffeting.
In the past of course pre-war and up to the fifties we had aeroscreens the driver partly looked through. Later high perspex cockpit surround screens. Then from the mid 80s ski slope shaped deflection as a part of the main monocoque of the car in carbon fibre and very strong. This has now been lost. A look back at history, but this time with the modern materials techniques and experience and the abilities to now make very rigid and strong structures, must surely be needed. Not as an absolute preventative, but undoubtedly there is scope for improvement and to further mitigate damage from these occurrences.


Posted Image
(Borrowing one of Simon Arron's splendid photos from the other thread taken earlier in the year )
Posted Image

Edited by RTH, 26 July 2009 - 06:27.


#12 COUGAR508

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:13

Now matter how safe they try and make it it's never very far from disaster is it?


That's right. When something like this happens, which is to a large degree outside anybody's control, it is all the more sobering, and a reminder of how fragile things are.

I can recall countless examples down the years of incidents like yesterday's, where drivers had very lucky escapes. Poor Felipe was not so fortunate, and let's hope that he makes a full recovery.

#13 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:31

Reports this morning :
Massa remains in a stable condition with no further complications however he has two fractures to the skull is still sedated and will have a further CT scan later today.
It may be necessary to look again at helmet strength testing standards. The sort of helmet worn currently are constructed from Carbon Fibre and cost in excess of £3500 each. However makers have strived to reduce the weight of helmets because of the very high cornering speeds caused by aero downforce, produce massive lateral G forces on the drivers head and the lighter the helmet the less fatigue to the drivers neck muscles.Helmet testing standards are set by the FIA and the Snell foundation.

Recent regulation changes to reduce cornering speeds for several good reasons have been far too little and failed to make any significant reduction. Maybe changes at the FIA in the near future will make a priority to address these issues, as well as cockpit opening surround deflection shapes, strength and helmets.

Edited by RTH, 26 July 2009 - 15:59.


#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:35

This had nothing to do with cornering speeds.

#15 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:45

No, but being very concious of reducing helmet weights has.

#16 MotorSportRetro

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:16

After seeing Massas accident today (and of course poor Surtees last week)I was wondering about a few things.

1. Who was the first driver to wear a full face helmet in Formula 1?
2. Who was the first manufacturer to produce a full face helmet?

Any answers much appreciated

Rich F

#17 Rob Ryder

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:27

I'm sorry to go against the flow of this thread, but the devastating accidents to Henry and Felipe were a combination of freak circumstances. Why should there be a wholesale review of cockpit design (safety)? I agree that safety should be taken very seriously in motorsport and improvements made where and when necessary but not based on one/two freak accidents, no matter how painful to the families of those involved.

On any given weekend 1000s of single-seat racers take to the tracks. How many of the cars have side cockpit protection? How many have wheel tethers? How many have carbon-fibre front crash protection? How many drivers have spent in excess of £5000 on crash helmets? Very few !

So do we assume that safety is only paramount in F1 and in the upper echelons of motorsport?

If a wheel had become detached from one of the FJ racers at Silverstone yesterday with the same consequences would there be a call for all more cockpit protection for these drivers? I think not.

Just my thoughts…

Rob



#18 doc knutsen

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:30

Reports this morning :
Massa remains in a stable condition with no further complications however he has two fractures to the skull is still sedated and will have a further CT scan later today.
It may be necessary to look again at helmet strength testing standards. The sort of helmet worn currently are constructed from Carbon Fibre and cost in excess of £5000 each. However makers have strived to reduce the weight of helmets because of the very high cornering speeds caused by aero downforce, produce massive lateral G forces on the drivers head and the lighter the helmet the less fatigue to the drivers neck muscles.Helmet testing standards are set by the FIA and the Snell foundation.

Recent regulation changes to reduce cornering speeds for several good reasons have been far too little and failed to make any significant reduction. Maybe changes at the FIA in the near future will make a priority to address these issues, as well as cockpit opening surround deflection shapes, strength and helmets.


The on-going work to reduce helmet weight is not primarily to do with driver fatigue under high G-forces, it is to do with G-forces and their affect on the cervical spine in the event of severe retardation. (the "champagne cork effect"). Now, with HANS systems being adapted in many categories, it may be time to look again at penetration proofing of helmet shells. But the problem remains with the necessary opening for adequate peripheral vision, of course, when it will always be much easier to penetrate the visor than the helmet shell itself.


#19 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:54

I'm sorry to go against the flow of this thread, but the devastating accidents to Henry and Felipe were a combination of freak circumstances. Why should there be a wholesale review of cockpit design (safety)? I agree that safety should be taken very seriously in motorsport and improvements made where and when necessary but not based on one/two freak accidents, no matter how painful to the families of those involved.

On any given weekend 1000s of single-seat racers take to the tracks. How many of the cars have side cockpit protection? How many have wheel tethers? How many have carbon-fibre front crash protection? How many drivers have spent in excess of £3500 on crash helmets? Very few !

So do we assume that safety is only paramount in F1 and in the upper echelons of motorsport?

If a wheel had become detached from one of the FJ racers at Silverstone yesterday with the same consequences would there be a call for all more cockpit protection for these drivers? I think not.

Just my thoughts…

Rob


All valid points Rob and of course you cannot turn the clock back on older cars. However nowadays the racing car designers are driven by performance and comply with the safety rules laid down by the governing body.
Of course motor racing will never be made safe, but if just a few minor changes could save a brain injury, blindness or death on even one person without destroying the sport or mutilating the aesthetic appeal of the cars, then I think it should be researched, proved and introduced.

Good point Doc, but what you are really hinting at here is that the cars performance in terms of speed, G forces retardation etc is now being allowed to approach the limits of the human body, even though in recent years the policy has been to alter the circuits rather than the speed and forces in all respects of the cars.
From the photographs I have seen in this particular case , it would appear the point of penetration on the helmet was above the aperture, above the left eye, But of course you are right about visors and I cannot help remember the tragedy of Helmut Marko losing the sight in one eye in the '70s as a result of visor penetration.

Edited by RTH, 26 July 2009 - 16:00.


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#20 scags

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:51

Don't forget the overall safety of the car- as far as i know, Massa had no secondary injuries after a very hard smack into the barrier.

#21 thomaskomm

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 14:31

After seeing Massas accident today (and of course poor Surtees last week)I was wondering about a few things.

1. Who was the first driver to wear a full face helmet in Formula 1?
2. Who was the first manufacturer to produce a full face helmet?

Any answers much appreciated

Rich F


Hi first Driver was Dan Gurney 1968 and the helmet was BELL

Greetings
Thomas


#22 doc knutsen

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 15:11

Good point Doc, but what you are really hinting at here is that the cars performance in terms of speed, G forces retardation etc is now being allowed to approach the limits of the human body, even though in recent years the policy has been to alter the circuits rather than the speed and forces in all respects of the cars.
From the photographs I have seen in this particular case , it would appear the point of penetration on the helmet was above the aperture, above the left eye, But of course you are right about visors and I cannot help remember the tragedy of Helmut Marko losing the sight in one eye in the '70s as a result of visor penetration.


My point is that with the use of HANS, it might be possible to allow a slight helmet weight increase in the interest of better anti-penetration without undue risk of neck and/or skull injury. Some early full-face helmets were above 2500grammes when we started looking at helmets weights in the Scandinavian medical group in the early Nineties. Given the prospects of G loads of 50G or even more, the difference between a 2.5 kg hat and one that weighs 1200 grammes might be sufficient to avoid spinal injury.

Incidentally, the Swedes went so far as to recommend an open-face helmet in order to reduce weight further, all in the interest of reducing spinal column injury risks. Their "Bilsportshjaelmen" or the "Automobile Sport Helmet" was meant to be a mandatory requirement, but as far as I know it was never applied. I strongly disagreed, in favour of a full-face helmet design, but the Swedes went their own way. We had a bit of a confrontation in 1994 when the driver of my C2 car, former F3 star Andre Westbye presented for scrutineering at Anderstorp with his F1-spec Arai and was told to change his helmet for a Swedish spec open-face one...
Fortunately common sense prevailed.

I do not know too much about the materials in contemporary helmets (curiously, helmet weights are rarely mentioned in the sales information) but I see the top-of-the-line ones are advertised as having a lightweight carbon shell. I believe a layer of Kevlar, with the superb anti-penetration characteristics of this fiber compared to carbon weave, might be a good choice. Several of the medium price helmets feature glass and Kevlar fibres, from what I understand. Increasing the Kevlar content at the cost of adding some weight might be worth looking into.

Maybe there is somebody with more detailed information on contemporary helmet design and materials choice who could shed some light upon this matter?

#23 Phil Rainford

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 15:37

Looking at the driving position in a modern single seater ( Palmer Audi ) the driver sits well down in the car with protection either side of him..........however there is of course no front facing protection at all

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#24 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 15:53

Doc

In the 09 catalogue Bell qotes its customer F1 helmets the HP3 and HP 5 all carbon autoclave at 1290 grammes

Stilo carbon st quattro 8860 f1 at 1350 gms

Hans devices now are in the £700-1000 range

Clubman can buy fibreglass shell helmets for 1/10th of the price of a carbon helmet still comply with FIA and snell but a great deal heavier.

#25 f1steveuk

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 16:11

The list of drivers who have been hit by objects is, surprisingly long, well longer than I thought when you include Brambilla, Taylor etc, and are, by their nature, freakish.

Tha HANS device isn't a support mechanism, and only works to prevent excessive forward movement of the head and hyper-extension of the neck. I really wouldn't want to go into detail, but the recent events have highlighted the problem of a drivers head not only being struck, but also forced backwards quickly, and the stopping quickly again. By definition, F1 is an "open cockpit" series, so I will interested to see if the FIA jerk their collective knees, or consider the problem, which although unfortunate, is very rare.

As an aside, BMW to do a carbon fibre support collar, for use on bikes, that tries to prevent movement front and rear, while allowing free movement, I could see a car based development from that, in time.

I wonder if the unfortunate Massa will go the way of Wendlinger?

#26 MPea3

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 16:39

One of the problems in helmet design seems to be getting the right balance between weight, energy absorption and resistance to penetration. Certainly the use of the helmet would affect which of these factors is most critical.

For example, needs of a motorcycle helmet versus a car helmet are different. Ask anyone who has ever taken a tumble off of a bike and he'll tell you that weight is very important, and energy absorption more so than the worry of something coming through the surface. It's interesting that the Snell tests seem to deal more with penetration than absorption. A number of tests in recent years have found that for bikers, some helmets which are not Snell approved seem to do a better job of protecting a rider's head from severe concussion.

I would think that the needs of a closed race car might also be different than that of an open car, the need to stop penetration begin higher in the latter.

At some point however, we may be asking the helmet to do more than it can, and both of these recent incidents may be perfect examples of that. Rob is right when he describes both accidents as freak circumstances. I can't imagine any helmet design which would allow the body to absorb the weight of a tire and wheel falling on the driver in a moving car such as what Surtees experienced. As far as poor Massa, when you take a piece of metal into the face at high speed you've pretty well gone past any reasonable design parameter and will just need a bit of luck.

A couple of years ago I was on a trip and took a small bird off of my faceshield at about 85mph. I can't begin to describe the force of impact. I was fortunate to not lose control of the bike and I was left with a very sore neck for a few days. Granted, on a bike I had no support behind my head but when I think about the added speed and weight of the object these two guys took on, it's pretty scary.

#27 Phil Rainford

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 16:47

Obviously the FIA are taking the whole situation extremely seriously

Renault have been excluded from the next GP due to the incident that led to Alonso's wheel coming adrift.......

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77354


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#28 RTH

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 16:54

It will be a good thing to see the back of those wheel trims next year.

#29 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 16:59

It will be a good thing to see the back of those wheel trims next year.



Hear hear! Awful things - this is Formula 1, not "Pimp My Ride". :rolleyes:

#30 Hieronymus

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:00

Renault have been excluded from the next GP due to the incident that led to Alonso's wheel coming adrift.......


Ridiculous!


#31 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:05

Ridiculous!



Perhaps, but with one single-seater driver killed and another lying injured in hospital, can we not forgive the FIA for clamping-down on teams that fail to notify drivers that they have a loose wheel? The fact that Alonso's wheel did not endanger either fellow drivers, spectators or marshals was due to luck,.

#32 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:19

Oh please - this is a game for fully grown men - men free to take the decision to take a risk or two. Sometimes injuries happen. The ultimate safety move is to leave the engine unstarted...

And should TNF be devoting electrons to a Racing thingummy thread???? There's that other place for idle hand-wringing.

DCN











#33 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:25

Well, I can assure Doug that I am not of the hand-wringing persuation, but my point is that sending a car out onto the track in a dangerous state (i.e. with one wheel not secured) and waiting for the driver to report back about the hideous vibration that resulted is surely a rather careless action from a team with a comparatively long and illustrious history in the sport and needs to be addressed.

Edited by cpbell, 26 July 2009 - 17:27.


#34 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:31

In addition, I personally feel that viewing contemporary events with the benefit of our individual and collective knowledge of the history of the sport helps demarcate this discussion as suitable for the adult end of the boards, rather than the RC creche.

Edited by cpbell, 26 July 2009 - 17:32.


#35 Hieronymus

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:35

FIA's move on Renault is over the top. The only way to ensure safe and injury free motorsport is by banning it completely.

#36 RStock

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:45

And should TNF be devoting electrons to a Racing thingummy thread???? There's that other place for idle hand-wringing.

DCN



Let's see if we can make this thread have a tack towards a more TNF worthy discussion .

This is a subject I have wondered about for awhile , that being drivers suffering from concussions . In American football , they have started keeping track of the number of concussions a player has received over his career , and it is something that can force an early retirement if too many are sustained .

In the last decade , several ex-NFL players who were long retired exhibited some rather "bizarre" behavior . One was Andre Waters , who after commiting suicide at the age of 44 was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome after autopsy . It was said his brain had degenerated to that of the state of an 80 year old with early Alzheimers .

Another was Mike Webster , and while his cause of death was not released , he was known to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease . He lived his life like a homeless person after his football career was over .

Both of these cases have been attributed to the constant pounding their brains received whlie playing football .

So I have wondered , is this something that has been studies among drivers ? I've never heard if it has .

I remember reading that driver Fireball Roberts started exhibiting some "out of character" behavior before his death , and it was attributed to a couple of concussions he received while racing . Does anyone know if that is in fact true , or have further information ?

And does anyone know of other drivers that might fall into the same catagory ?

It just seems something that could affect them also , but I've never seen a discussion about the subject .

#37 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:46

FIA's move on Renault is over the top. The only way to ensure safe and injury free motorsport is by banning it completely.



Over the top? In my personal view, perhaps, but the point that I am trying to make is that there is a difference between acceptable and unacceptable risks. For example, the end of town-to-town racing after the disaster of Paris-Madrid in 1903 brought an end to an unacceptable risk, namely, the impossibility of adequately controlling the crowd along a route of several hundreds of miles of open road. The style of racing which replced it (and, indeed, it had already been invented in the Ardennes the previous year) was racing on closed-road courses. Of course, that type of racing was still dangerous, but the unacceptable risk had been dealt with.
To bring my point up to date, most of the red-top reaction to the tragic loss of young Henry Surtees was to condemn Williams, Brands Hatch, open-wheeled racing etc. This is, in my opinion, hand-wringing and does not recognise the fact the fact that, assuming there were no severe manufacturing flaws on Henry's car, the risk he took was acceptable and his loss was due to sheer bad luck of the worst kind. Sending a car out with a loose wheel and then not getting on the radio to the driver to park the car but, instead, waiting for him to notice the resultant vibration and subsequently shed that wheel was, in my opinion, careless and deserved punishment of some kind, and, if there are Sporting Regulations that cover allowing a driver onto the circuit in an unsafe car, then action is justified.

Edited by cpbell, 26 July 2009 - 17:48.


#38 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 18:08

Obviously the FIA are taking the whole situation extremely seriously

Renault have been excluded from the next GP due to the incident that led to Alonso's wheel coming adrift.......

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77354


PAR


I agree, ridiculous move, they didn't do it on purpose and they might not have even known the wheel nut wasn't on properly - it wasn't clear from the in-car footage to begin with and to be honest for all we know they could have told Alonso several times to park it and he carried on, ignoring them.

Typical FIA though:-

"It means Alonso will miss his home event that takes place in Valencia next month, unless he moves to another team."

I think thus means we'll definitely see a Spaniard in a Ferrari and I don't mean Marc Gene (sorry Herb!!)!!

P.S. Why should Piquet be punished for this? (barring the fact he is a bit slow in comparison for whatever reason?!?!)

Edited by Gregor Marshall, 26 July 2009 - 18:11.


#39 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 18:19

My last post was written with regard ONLY to poor Massa's head injury and the growing fuss about 'safety measures' to prevent such an incident recurring. If the TV helicopter should crash land on the circuit there would be a storm of disbelieving irrationality on RC demanding that all F1 circuits should be roofed in.

My last post was in NO way aimed at the Renault fuss, of which I was unaware at the time, and which like so much in Formula 1 probably cloaks matters of which we presently wot not...and which under appeal is quite likely to evaporate into yet another minor historical sidelight - yet another five minute wonder - yet another example of FIA authority and a major manufacturer team vying with one another merely to see who can pee highest up the wall. Give it a month and we will all know the outcome.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 26 July 2009 - 18:20.


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#40 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 18:19

I'm pretty sure the wheelgun man on that corner of the car knew, as he didn't raise his hand - my understanding is that the "lollipop man" should only raise the board when all four wheelgun men have raised their hand. Presumably he told someone that his nut was not on probably, so I can't see that the defence of "they might not have known" is valid. The problem is, modern-day Formula 1 is not populated with individuals with much common sense; therefore, the FIA must regulate to ensure that unnecessary risks are minimised. Let us not forget that, in their previous life as Benetton, that team (allegedly) tampered with an FIA-supplied refuelling rig in order to increase flow-rate, and, whilst I would not presume to suggest that there was a causal relationship between that incident and the Verstappen refuelling fire at the German GP, I do recall reports that the FIA found that the "modifications" reduced the safety of the rig. If am incorrect in this, I apologise, but my point is that, were it not for law-makers curbing the teams, we would be watching races between ground-effect cars with dangerously high cornering speeds and much less crash-worthiness than those which take to the circuit now.

As I am obviously in a minority of one in my views, I shall now retire from this discussion. My point is solely that failing to censure risky practice on the part of the teams may potentially represent the first step onto a very slippery slope.

#41 cpbell

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 18:20

My last post was written with regard ONLY to poor Massa's head injury and the growing fuss about 'safety measures' to prevent such an incident recurring If the TV helicopter should crash land on the circuit there would be a storm of disbelieving irrationality on RC demanding that all F1 circuits should be roofed in.

My last post was in NO way aimed at the Renault fuss, which like so much in Formula 1 probably cloaks matters of which we presently wot not...and which under appeal is quite likely to evaporate into yet another minor historical sidelight - yet another five minute wonder - yet another example of FIA authority and a major manufacturer team vying with one another merely to see who can pee highest up the wall. Give it a month and we will know the answer.

DCN



I break my self-imposed exile from this discussion to apologise to Doug, as I initially believed that he was referring to my post.

#42 LotusElise

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 21:07

This is a subject I have wondered about for awhile , that being drivers suffering from concussions . In American football , they have started keeping track of the number of concussions a player has received over his career , and it is something that can force an early retirement if too many are sustained...

...And does anyone know of other drivers that might fall into the same catagory ?

It just seems something that could affect them also , but I've never seen a discussion about the subject .


This is interesting. There is anecdotal evidence that footballers in the UK from the 1950s have a higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease and degenerative brain conditions than their peers, and it has been suggested that heading a heavy leather ball might play a part.

While racing drivers are certainly in the firing line for concussion, my own hunch is that concussion is much less frequent for them than for NFL players. The average driver does not crash every time he or she races, but an NFL player can be on the receiving end of crunching tackles many times during a game.

I'm not sure about rates of Alzheimer's and brain conditions among former racing drivers. Many of our old heroes still seem to be in good shape for their age, physically and mentally, but there are many more that we never hear of.

#43 Rockford

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 23:41

There's a Frank Costin thread on the RC forum discussing the Protos - why don't we just all post on there and disband TNF? * runs *

Edited by Rockford, 26 July 2009 - 23:41.


#44 D-Type

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:27

On the positive side, the tyre barrier performed well.

#45 cpbell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:02

On the positive side, the tyre barrier performed well.



Yes, as did the nosecone of the car. I tend to think that, in terms of deflecting debris, the pre-high nose cars (1980s era) were better, as the slipstream would tend to suck objects over the drivers head. Also, if something did hit that sloping nose, it would be deflected out of harm's way.

#46 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:16

That's right. When something like this happens, which is to a large degree outside anybody's control, it is all the more sobering, and a reminder of how fragile things are.

I can recall countless examples down the years of incidents like yesterday's, where drivers had very lucky escapes. Poor Felipe was not so fortunate, and let's hope that he makes a full recovery.


Maybe poor Felipe was fortunate after all..?
I mean, it could also have been worse.

#47 cpbell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:30

Maybe poor Felipe was fortunate after all..?
I mean, it could also have been worse.



Indeed it could.

#48 FLB

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 14:14

The doctors are beginning to talk about a possible career-ending eye injury.

Shades of Johnny Servoz-Gavin and Helmut Marko... :(

#49 cpbell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 14:30

The doctors are beginning to talk about a possible career-ending eye injury.

Shades of Johnny Servoz-Gavin and Helmut Marko... :(



That would indeed be sad, but let's wait and see.

#50 RTH

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 15:22

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77379

An eye injury is what I feared when I saw that photo with his helmet still on. That is a truly terrifying prospect , let us hope that it proves not to be the case.
You only have to look at the shape of the fuselage of a current car to see the chances of the deflection of a small flying object over a drivers head is less than it has been in previous generations of car, going right back, ( and being able to relate events to history and previous experience is what TNF is all about ) .........the helmet window is right in the line of fire with nothing for a foreign body to glance off. Stopping a 1kg item at 150mph and just deflecting it are two completely different things.

OK you will not stop the Surtees tragedy and no one is saying motor racing can or should be made totally safe ,that is impossible and yes of course they all accept that as they step in the car..................but losing the sight in an eye if it might be possible in at least some cases to stop that happening .. OMG.

Edited by RTH, 27 July 2009 - 15:37.