I am writing to air my views about Fl safety. This has been prompted by the recent deaths at Imola.
I think that one modification that could be made to the cars to good effect is to restore the width of the tyres to what they were a year or two ago, or possibly make them wider still. Today’s tyres may be good enough for a computer controlled car (active suspension) that does not make mistakes and has far finer judgement than any human being, but there should be a wider safety margin to make the cars easier to drive and reduce consequences of an accident.
The other important point about wider tyres is that braking will have a greater effect, so collision speeds should be lower. Would this have saved Ayrton Senna? We will never know, but I think this is a good idea nonetheless, because there have been enough accidents so far this year (both fatal and non fatal) to make one think that something is wrong. If you think this is not a valid point, you only have to look at an IndyCar panic braking — as we all know, the tyres screech and the car carries on regardless. Fl cars used to be the opposite, but not any more in my opinion. The other point I would like to make is concerning the tragic death of Roland Ratzenberger. Why was the
race at Imola not called off out of respect alone? At that point the governing body could investigate the accident (and other accidents) behind the scenes and make changes before the next race. We can’t expect the track officials to call the race off due to self-interest. It is up to FIA to have procedures set in place that have to be carried out when a serious or fatal accident occurs. Would you fly on a jumbo if one had been involved in a fatal crash the day before? The first thing the aviation authorities do is find out whether the aircraft type needs grounding or not, while further checks are carried out. While this is not a watertight analogy, the point about procedures and the FIA. I think, is. Also, there is no place for complacency with such a potentially dangerous sport as car racing. Any track where there is a good chance Of hitting something hard at speed is dangerous. I thought that dangers like this were a thing of the past. Perhaps something will be done now Senna has died, but it should not have taken the death of a superstar to initiate it. Senna’s death has spoilt my enjoyment of Fl for ever. Philip C Johnson, Colne,