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Lauda's comments on red flag and repair


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#1 Wiggy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:13

http://m.bbc.co.uk/s...rmula1/28186376

Now I know he's of the 'we were the real drivers' and 'better in our day' mindset, but surely being part of F1's inner circle, he must realise that if the barriers were ignored and a car hit them, went thru and decapitated a driver... Silverstone would face a very juicy lawsuit.

Next he'll maybe say fire extinguishers aren't important?!

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#2 Topsu

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:15

Then he goes on to criticize Kimi for taking too much risk and not being careful enough when returning to the track over grass. What do you even want Niki?



#3 PayasYouRace

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:17

For anyone too lazy to click the link:

 

"It's all crazy," Lauda said. "To stop the race for one hour because one of the barriers is damaged is ridiculous."

 

"Formula 1 is over-regulated," he added. "They are never going to hit [the barrier] again. They take care of every little detail and a lot of people will switch the television off."

 

I'd have expected better from Niki after what he and his cohort went through. Improperly installed Armco is no laughing matter, and if a car hit it once, another could hit it again.


Edited by PayasYouRace, 07 July 2014 - 13:24.


#4 ardbeg

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:19

That is not really what he said, was it? If you put words inside quotes, they should be actual quotes.



#5 Gareth

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:25

Did Niki have an important engagement after the race?  He seems pretty impatient.

 

Yes the chances that one bit of barrier gets hit again are incredibly small, but the race organiser, knowing it is broken, can't just carry on.  If it did get hit again, the insurance likely wouldn't cover any participant injuries and there would be potential breaches of health and safety and (if a fatality) corporate manslaughter legislation.

 

In the hour, I got to eat an ice cream.  Sadly, the queues for the toilets were too big, so I didn't manage a Kimi full house.



#6 Jejking

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:25

Wiggy, have you actually listened to the interview? He was concerned about the LENGTH of the repair work, not about the work itself. Without measures like these, he would have died in 1976 and he knows it.



#7 AlexanderF1

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:28

i think what niki said about the red flag has been missunderstood. i think he was saying that 1 hour to fix a barrier is too long(his main point),after that he said the bit about the crash not happening again. i do admit it was pretty hypocrittical considering he was the one who tried to cancell the 1976 german gp because of safety.



#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:33

For me the issue was why there was guardrail there to begin with. 



#9 PayasYouRace

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:35

For me the issue was why there was guardrail there to begin with. 

 

As opposed to?

 

It sounds like you're saying there should have been nothing there at all.



#10 pokerkid

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:35

He is correct that the whole sport has become to regulated and safety concious, which is why they barely race in the rain anymore despite the circuits and cars being far far safer than they used to be. Also why the tracks are just becoming open car parks and why they stopped a race for 1 hour to fix a tiny bit of barrier damage on a straight. It's just getting worse and worse. Eventually they will have closed cock pits and wheels as well if nobdy stands up the nancys taking over the sport.



#11 Spillage

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:35

Surprising comments from Lauda given what he's been through, especially in light of the '76 Japanese Grand Prix where he outright refused to take what he saw as an unnecessary risk in a sport that was dangerous enough. I wonder if his drivers think he should be so keen to see them risk their lives in case the TV audience gets bored.

#12 pokerkid

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:40

Surprising comments from Lauda given what he's been through, especially in light of the '76 Japanese Grand Prix where he outright refused to take what he saw as an unnecessary risk in a sport that was dangerous enough.

 

Thats because back then the sport was actually dangerous compared to the nanny state F1 has become.



#13 DinosaursRoarForHugs

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:42

What's this? Talking head is deliberately part-quoted to create controversy? On the Autosport forums? I can't believe this has happened! Must be a first. Disgraceful

 

Lauda was rightly complaining that an hour to fix a damaged barrier that realistically nobody was going to hit again was too much. In this instance, he was spot on. An hour is a long time to wait for most tv viewers, and the safety reduction as a result of the crash damage was minimal. It's not like the barrier had been uprooted and there was no longer any protection... fml



#14 Spillage

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:44

Thats because back then the sport was actually dangerous compared to the nanny state F1 has become.

I'd rather have a nanny state than a dead driver.

#15 doc83

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:46

Surprising comments from Lauda given what he's been through, especially in light of the '76 Japanese Grand Prix where he outright refused to take what he saw as an unnecessary risk in a sport that was dangerous enough. I wonder if his drivers think he should be so keen to see them risk their lives in case the TV audience gets bored.

 

 

You really see no difference between 1976 Japanese GP and dent barrier after Raikkonen’s crash when it comes to the risk of being seriously injured or killed? Jeeeeez



#16 pokerkid

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:47

I'd rather have a nanny state than a dead driver.

 

This is a false choice. There was no risk for death. Nobody will hit that spot in the next 100 years.



#17 ConsiderAndGo

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:48

The mans backwards. Don't expect anything else from him.



#18 Spillage

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:51

This is a false choice. There was no risk for death. Nobody will hit that spiot in the next 100 years.

That is a ludicrous assertion. Didn't somebody hit it in the WEC race recently? Anyway, it was a different colour to the rest of the barriers, suggesting it'd been replaced in the recent past. As long as it was damaged there was a risk of death - faulty armco has caused deaths before.

#19 doc83

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 13:55

That is a ludicrous assertion. Didn't somebody hit it in the WEC race recently? Anyway, it was a different colour to the rest of the barriers, suggesting it'd been replaced in the recent past. As long as it was damaged there was a risk of death - faulty armco has caused deaths before.

 

When you look closely (corner after corner)  at all the circuits there are many more dangerous places when a driver could get killed or injured.  There is limit to safety concerns. Especially in motorsport.



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#20 alpinesmuggler

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:07

I'm not a circuit safety expert, but maybe someone on here is. Would have putting tires in front of the damaged barrier, as Lauda suggested, been a sufficient and quicker fix?

 

I generally agree with the gist of Lauda's thoughts both about the time it took to fix the barrier and Kimi's driving, but I wish he'd also have addressed the ever creeping tarmac run-offs where a mistake isn't really a mistake and which might dull some drivers' risk awareness.


Edited by alpinesmuggler, 07 July 2014 - 14:10.


#21 Alexis*27

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:10

The barrier had to be repaired. There might have been a 1000:1 chance, but hit that part again and you could easily slide underneath it and we'd have a fatality.

 

BUT, why wasn't there a TecPro barrier available to put in front of the armco?



#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:12

As opposed to?

 

It sounds like you're saying there should have been nothing there at all.

 

What makes you think the only options are guardrail or empty space? Have you never seen concrete, tire barriers, techpro, SAFER, etc?



#23 SenorSjon

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:15

The barrier didn't look to damaged. What's next? Barriers to protect the barrier?



#24 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:19

I found Lauda's comments extraordinary when you consider that he was present at Watkins Glen in both 1973 and 1975 when Cevert and Koinnig were both killed because of faults in Armco barriers. Even more so when you consider his comment that it was only the bottom bit that was damaged: 'submarining' is the greatest danger with damaged barriers.

 

I don't buy the 'never in 100 years' or 'lightning never strikes twice' arguments either. But then I've been at circuits when fatal crashes happened in places they "shouldn't" because they were "safe": Brian Hough at Thruxton, for example.



#25 sopa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:45

I think the matter here is that if the barrier got damaged, the armco itself wasn't fundamentally safe enough and even if they fixed it, another car crash could have dislocated it again or even it could have collapsed even worse...

 

I think it is food for thought for Silverstone track owners to consider installing something else there. As mentioned, SAFER and other modern barriers could be considered.



#26 goingthedistance

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 14:47

I agree with him. They at least should have found a quicker solution. I can't recall ever waiting that long for such a small amount of damage. I couldn't shake the feeling that if this was Monaco it would be dealt with in 15 minutes maximum. But this was England, an insurocracy where there is this crazy belief that everything can be made safe and all risks can be eliminated. I live here but the nanny state attitudes to various things drive me a little mad, as well intentioned as they often are.

#27 redreni

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:07

I'm not a circuit safety expert, but maybe someone on here is. Would have putting tires in front of the damaged barrier, as Lauda suggested, been a sufficient and quicker fix?

 

I generally agree with the gist of Lauda's thoughts both about the time it took to fix the barrier and Kimi's driving, but I wish he'd also have addressed the ever creeping tarmac run-offs where a mistake isn't really a mistake and which might dull some drivers' risk awareness.

 

No, not without a proper conveyor belt to hold the tyres together, because the nose of a car would just go between the tyres and into the barrier.

 

I do think if you analyse the risks that are taken and not taken during race weekends, there are some odd choices made. I've long said that when there are people working near the track, not on it, but not protected by a barrier either, then it makes no sense to bring the SC out as it's no safer than double-waved yellows. Drivers are more likely to go off in weird places when warming their brakes and tyres under the SC than they are to crash under double-waved yellows. Apart from anything else, as soon as the SC comes out the drivers are immediately distrated by having to talk strategy with their team and stare at the sector time deltas to make sure they won't get a penalty - they're not even looking where they're going half the time when the SC is out. And yet some of the risks that are taken when the SC is out, which would never be taken under double-waved yellows, are incredible.

 

But I can see why it's not just a case of assessing risk, because from a legal point of view should an accident occur that results in injury or death, it's all about diligence. And it wouldn't go down well if you stood up in court and said "well, normally we'd have replaced the barrier, but on this occasion it was a big event and television was waiting, so we just lobbed a few old car tyres in front of the damaged area and restarted the race". Once the damage to the barrier has been drawn to the attention of Race Control and the race has been stopped, it's always going to have to be fixed.



#28 DaddyCool

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:11

I think if Niki Lauda of all people says that F1 has become 'too safe' that might worth a thought or too. I recall an interview with him in F1 Racing a few years ago where he said that he understands why some people say F1 has become too safe, but he won't be the the one to say that they are right.

 

 

I think we should be realistic about the safety of the modern Formula 1. There were some pretty nasty shunts in the last 10-15 years (Kimi Hockenheim 2004, Kubica Canada 2008, Massa Hungary 09 (not track related though), Perez in Monaco, Webber's spin in Valencia, Massa v Perez this year, now Kimi, etc.) and they pretty much emerged unscathed from these incidents (Massa's head inury aside).

 

I wish there was some actual discussion about this topic than the usual "zomgfz dude, you want gravel traps and wet races? WHY WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DRIVERS GETTING KILLED LEFT AND RIGHT???!?!?!"



#29 Youichi

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:17

No, not without a proper conveyor belt to hold the tyres together, because the nose of a car would just go between the tyres and into the barrier.

 

 

Respectfully, I disagree, they could have pre-build banded tyre walls, on the back of a lorry, and just unload them where required, it would take 10 minutes.

 

Watch the footage after the end of the race, at Club corner, they moved the banded tyre walls out of the way so the crowd could invade the start/finish straight. A couple of those tyre walls on a lorry is all that was needed.



#30 Jamiednm

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:27

I agree that the barrier had to be fixed, but the length of time it took was actually quite shocking. An hour to unbolt a section of Armco and replace it with another? Silverstone appeared ill-prepared.

#31 B Squared

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:42

I found Lauda's comments extraordinary when you consider that he was present at Watkins Glen in both 1973 and 1975 when Cevert and Koinnig were both killed because of faults in Armco barriers. Even more so when you consider his comment that it was only the bottom bit that was damaged: 'submarining' is the greatest danger with damaged barriers.

 

I don't buy the 'never in 100 years' or 'lightning never strikes twice' arguments either. But then I've been at circuits when fatal crashes happened in places they "shouldn't" because they were "safe": Brian Hough at Thruxton, for example.

1974



#32 ollebompa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:44

I'm more then happy to wait for something that could be a safety issue to be fixed. No matter how little risk there is. If someone got killed in the car I would not watch F1 again.

#33 PlatenGlass

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:54

I think the point is that when you consider the level of danger that F1 has and compare it with F1 but with a damaged piece of Armco in that one place, the difference is negligible. People talk about unacceptable risk, but if there is an x% chance of serious injury occurring in a race, then not replacing the barrier might have made it x*1.000001%. Obviously I made that number up, but it's no more unacceptable than going to a track that happens to be slightly more dangerous anyway. Not all F1 tracks are exactly as safe as each other, and damaging a piece of Armco in an out-of-the-way place like that on any track is unlikely to have a big enough effect to change its position in the ranking of safety among F1 tracks. So that race would still have been safer than the races it was safer than already.

#34 pingu666

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 15:57

i think the problem is the armco gets all twisted and buckled, the bolts might be rusted in too, and you may need to redo a post too, it can be quick to redo, BUT not if its all mangled.

 

spare holes in the ground for new posts, a steel plate that could be bolted over the front of the damaged section, and moveable blocks of tyres that are belted or techpro, and positioned in front would be a quicker solution, i guess



#35 jjcale

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:02

Circuits' insurance may have been voided if the barrier was not repaired .... no one in Britain today is going to take that kind of risk.

 

Oh, and there was a tiny chance that a driver could have hit the same spot again and suffered an injury ....

 

 

Why the repair took so long is the real question.



#36 Imateria

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:05

I agree that the barrier had to be fixed, but the length of time it took was actually quite shocking. An hour to unbolt a section of Armco and replace it with another? Silverstone appeared ill-prepared.

No, thats how long it takes. Damaged armco is not easy to remove because it's all bent out of shape and warped and generally the supports have to be replaced as well, and a bent and buckled armco is not fit for purpose since it's already absorbed one hit and is now incapable of offering the same kind of protection, think of it as being like a deformable crash structure on the cars. If another car had hit that piece it would have had a very good chance of going through it and either smashing into the bank behind or submarining through the lower section, both actions very much likely to result in accident or death. And saying there's a low chance that it would be hit again is a piss poor excuse, all it takes is too drivers being stupid and getting into each other on the exit of Aintree and the same could very well happen again and I'm pretty certain has happened in the past.



#37 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:31

Bearing in mind it took what, less than an hour? It seems like forever when you're waiting for a restart but that's a decent repair job.

 

Granted I've seen NASCAR tracks set on fire and have have the paving fixed during a red flag.



#38 metz

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:32

A prefabricated, belted tyre-wall would have solved the problem.

Other tracks have done this and it stops the race for 10-15 minutes at the most.

In Indy races I have seen temporary plates installed in 10 minutes and they were deemed safer than the original Armco.

What would Silverstone have done if a post was missing? Delay the race by 5 hours?

No. They were simply unprepared for a temporary, adequate and safe solution.

Lauda did not advocate ignoring the problem. He simply stated the obvious.

It took too long, and there are insurance certified, temporary remedies for that.


Edited by metz, 07 July 2014 - 16:33.


#39 PayasYouRace

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:34

What makes you think the only options are guardrail or empty space? Have you never seen concrete, tire barriers, techpro, SAFER, etc?

 

Oh right. I would call all those things guard rails.

 

I guess they'd rather have armco, that has a bit of give, to concrete which doesn't. A point along a straight doesn't generally have the high angle impacts that tyres, techpro or SAFER are usually used for. So I don't see why you'd criticise the circuit for having armco there. But in future a more modern barrier may be a good idea.



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#40 PayasYouRace

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 16:36

A prefabricated, belted tyre-wall would have solved the problem.

Other tracks have done this and it stops the race for 10-15 minutes at the most.

In Indy races I have seen temporary plates installed in 10 minutes and they were deemed safer than the original Armco.

What would Silverstone have done if a post was missing? Delay the race by 5 hours?

No. They were simply unprepared for a temporary, adequate and safe solution.

Lauda did not advocate ignoring the problem. He simply stated the obvious.

It took too long, and there are insurance certified, temporary remedies for that.

 

Nonsense. They did put new posts in, and they had the spare sections of barrier there within minutes. It just naturally takes a little time to change it. Better it done right than in a hurry.



#41 Longtimefan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:09

I'm more then happy to wait for something that could be a safety issue to be fixed. No matter how little risk there is. If someone got killed in the car I would not watch F1 again.


I'm guessing you didn't watch in the 70's then?

#42 Risil

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:10

Whatever that Rush movie made out, Lauda is as emotional as the next man and I think as a senior Mercedes man he just wanted the race between his drivers to get underway.

 

Important to note he was telling the BBC they should hurry up or not bother repairing the guardrail, and not trying to lobby Race Control about it. (I assume, anyway.)


Edited by Risil, 07 July 2014 - 17:11.


#43 Tsarwash

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:39

I thought that an hour was far too long a delay. I wasn't personally bothered as I was busy and barely watching the race, but it's a bit embarrassing considering how high a profile event it was.
Motorsport is a dangerous activity and sometimes people are going to get injured and sometimes they are going to die. This also happens in football, boxing, skiing, rugby, running and all sorts of other sports. I certainly don't want to watch anybody die again, but I accept that if I watch this sport long enough, then it's probably going to happen.
If the damage was going to take six hours to fix, what do you think they would have done ? Would they have cancelled the race and argued with all the spectators about refunding their money, or would they have just raced anyway ?

#44 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:42

What's an hour out of your life if it happens to save a life? Pretty cut and dry really.

 

I have loads of respect for Niki, but he's way off on this one.

 

 

 

I can't remember exactly what the scenerio was in last years 24 hours of Lemans when that driver hit a part of the wall that wasn't protected and lost his life?

 

This is the 21st century. Safety should be paramount.



#45 Wes350

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:49

Why are Armco style barriers still being used?

At the very least there should be a layer of the safer stuff over it

#46 Tsarwash

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 17:59

This is the 21st century. Safety should be paramount.

If safety was paramount, then they wouldn't go racing at all. Safety is very important, not paramount.

Edited by Tsarwash, 07 July 2014 - 17:59.


#47 PayasYouRace

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 18:06

I thought that an hour was far too long a delay. I wasn't personally bothered as I was busy and barely watching the race, but it's a bit embarrassing considering how high a profile event it was.
Motorsport is a dangerous activity and sometimes people are going to get injured and sometimes they are going to die. This also happens in football, boxing, skiing, rugby, running and all sorts of other sports. I certainly don't want to watch anybody die again, but I accept that if I watch this sport long enough, then it's probably going to happen.
If the damage was going to take six hours to fix, what do you think they would have done ? Would they have cancelled the race and argued with all the spectators about refunding their money, or would they have just raced anyway ?

 

Yeah because in football and rugby they play matches with big potholes in the pitches, and in boxing they carry on even when the ropes are snapped. Meanwhile, skiing with boulders on the course is no problem.

 

No I think you'll find in any of those sports they play stops if the venue is not up to safety standard.

 

If there was major damage to a circuit, the race would be postponed or even cancelled. What if a bridge over the circuit had collapsed? Would you be asking for the race to continue?



#48 Gyno

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 18:13

It took way too long to fix the barrier.

 

It should have been a 15 min fix at the most had they not been goverment workers doing the fix.

You know 1 working and 20 just standing around with their hands in their pockets.

 

OOOHHHH there is a tiny dent in the guard rail, lets red flag the race for 1 hour and change it and have 50 people standing around doing nothing while 2-3 guys try to unbolt the rail with some shitty tools.

 

What a joke.



#49 Wiggy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 18:13

Why are Armco style barriers still being used?

At the very least there should be a layer of the safer stuff over it


Yeah, it's called carbon fibre...

Or should they use cotton wool? Or bubble wrap?

#50 Gareth

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 18:20

Motorsport is a dangerous activity 

Sure it is.  But if they felt it was necessary to have a working armco barrier in that spot in their risk assessment before the race, you can see that it would be very difficult to justify a decision that it was no longer necessary to have a working barrier (or, even worse, a damaged barrier that presented risks beyond even having no barrier there - eg submarining) in that spot.

 

"It's dangerous" is not an excuse to not minimise the dangers as much as reasonably possible.  Having decided that a barrier in that spot was a reasonable requirement pre-race, they kind of have to ensure there's one there during.