Yesterday we woke up with the news from London about an accident involving Marussia test driver Maria de Villota colliding her F1 car with a lorry. The first tweets and news I read were not that good and we all started to think the worst. Hopefully as the day progressed news started to changed and team and family members told the press that Maria was conscious and talking. Although her life is not at risk at this moment the Marussia team said in an statement that unfortunately Maria will lost her right eye. Eyewitnesses have said that it seems the car accelerate just before Maria was trying to park it so that the mechanics could work on the set up of the car, it was just then when the car seemed to accelerate and went straight to the back of a lorry parked on the side of the track. This just show us how important are the security measures that the FIA authority, formula 1 governing body, f1 drivers association and the world of motor racing in general have taken during the past years to improve driver safety and why racing tracks have to comply with rigorous security checklist in order to be able to hold races on it.
Here is some audio from the Maria Villota accident.
The type of accident Maria suffered is the one that I fear the most in this type of cars (open wheeler) and I don’t know why in formula 1 and other categories they have postponed security measures to improve this flaw, meanwhile drivers lifes are being risked by flying objects or stationary parts of the circuit. Below are some examples of the type of accidents that have occur just 3 to 4 years back where drivers have been killed or seriously injured.
In this last video British driver Dan Wheldon lost his life just a year ago racing in las Vegas. The ironic part of this is that in this next video Dan Wheldon is explaining to David Letterman the new car model that will be used for the 2012 season and that would have represent a big difference in his accident due to the fact that the back wheels are covered to avoid that the cars on the back take off when colliding with the back of the car in the front, just as his car did in this terrible accident.
Go to 5:30 if you want to see the car right away.
Although Formula 1 is considered as the top motor racing category due to the technology improvements they bring in to make the cars faster but also more secure I have say that the indy series has gone a step ahead here by making this change to their cars. I consider that if it is necessary to loose some speed and “spectacularity” it is worth the try. I don’t seat in front of a TV to see how a simple spring of a car kill a driver due to this flaw. To clarified I understand that motor racing is very dangerous and all the drivers and their family know that, but, this safety measure could make a big difference in the fight to help improve drivers safety.
To end here is a video of what the FIA is doing to help improve this safety flaw, that I hope, they can come up with something concrete fast so we don’t have to see a driver loosing his life because of this.