Originally posted by Spunout
Surely there are lots of quotes available, as this idea has been discussed before in USGP press conferences etc. With that been said what I wrote here was mostly my opinion, nothing more.
Yeah, but I still think typical crashes on F1 courses are different. I am by no means an expert here, but it is my understanding the cars couldn´t survive crashing to concrete walls at high speed, even if the impact angles are (usually?) less severe compared to road courses. Ralf was good example: the car took the impact very well, but same cannot be said about human body.
I think they would need more metal around the drivers so the car could cave in and absorb impact energy. As it is, Now, if I am wrong, hopefully more engineering-minded folks will correct me.
The another thing is F1 cars are defitenitely more "nervous" on the limit, and I am not so convinced they could fully solve this problem for ovals. To me McNish/Suzuka 2002 is the perfect example of what should never ever happen on an oval, but what could happen with cars that are designed for road courses only. I actually think going trough that metal fence saved his life.
Basically, the history of oval racing has cases where somebody lost the rear end, overcorrected and ended up to the wall pretty much nose first. Most of them ended up very badly for the driver...
Oh Spunout I am quite amazed with what you have said. Composites designed to deform are better material for safety than "metal". F1 designers realised that way back in the 70s. Do the US open wheelers have metal around them?
F1 cars can be made stable, its just wing settiings. If you think the teams don't know how to achieve that, then it really is a shame they don't do an oval, you'd be surprised. Honda's on salt F1 did have a vertical tail wing on the back, but don't let that fool you, the wing allowed the downforce to be lowered for high speed. Oh and that wing on the Honda was legal. And the Honda clocked over 400KMH one way, on a slippery surface, with no control problems.
F1 would get around any problems with ovals. If jack Brabham, Jim Clark and all the rest of the many old F1 cars could do so with cars not wind tunnel tested and with teams of 40 people, I think teams with 1,000 people and bus loads of PHDs and wind tunnels and drivers worth 100s of millions would have no problems. Every race F1 designers put special aero packages and suspension sets for the peculiarities of each track. Look at all the wings and cooling tricks at Monaco. For an oval, they'd turn up with oval machines.
F1 is the crew that has pioneered open wheel safety. The cars are lighter, they have massive deformation tests and its built right into them. When Renault put in their mass damper, they had to crash test the tub again, those cars are immensely safe, and they are beautifully well built. F1 drivers have massive crashes in races and testing all the time. its the high speed safety of the cars that has saved so many driver's lives.
You've argued that F1 drivers couldn't race an oval. But they already have, and they've been able to turn up and outdrive everyone. Claims the cars are unsafe are silly. Even if the current F1 cars actually are unsafe, F1 would bring in a different safety package, and a different F1 car, they have the dollars, 10 points is worth many millions of dollars.
Its quite foolish to say they would not be safe, when you basis is bias, rather than an informed opinion.