Matters of Moment, April 1996

No Grounds for Complacency

Martin Brundle’s Melbourne accident wasn’t quite what the FIA had in mind when it pledged to make Formula One more exciting, but it did at least provide instant evidence to suggest that the present safety regulations are a step in the right direction.

The most remarkable aspect of the incident was not that Brundle should have survived it, per se, but that he should have done himself greater harm by sprinting back to the pits aggravating an old ankle injury than he did as a result of running into the back of Johnny Herbert at 180 mph…

Before the race, it was ironic that Jordan should have been accused, along with Williams, of having compromised safety with its interpretation of the new regulations. Now, surely, nobody could suggest that the Jordan is not a safe car.

But none of this means that the pursuit of even greater safety measures can be relaxed.

The rules as they stand have evolved gradually following much constructive discussion in the wake of Imola 1994, and we hope that negotiations of this kind will continue.

Brundle’s accident notwithstanding, there must never again be grounds for complacency in Formula One. As the FIA’s medical supremo Sid Watkins has frequently pointed out, it is impossible to eliminate all risk of injury.