Brawn: Safety can still be improved

Formula 1 should not rest on its laurels about safety in the sport, despite Sergio Perez's lucky escape from his terrifying crash in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix

Brawn: Safety can still be improved

That is the view of Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn, who claims that lessons should be taken on board about car design and track configuration on the back of a number of crashes this weekend at the exit of the Monaco tunnel.

Speaking about the incidents, which included Perez being taken to hospital after smashing sideways into the chicane barriers in a qualifying accident, Brawn believed action would be taken in the future.

"It is a tricky part of the track and it has been for years," explained Brawn, whose driver Nico Rosberg had a similar incident to Perez in Saturday morning practice but narrowly missed the barrier the Sauber ended up in. "With the events we had a few years ago, the barrier was put back and fortunately the cars have improved.

"But we must never be complacent and think that the cars can't improve. We can always improve things, but the work that has been done between the teams and the FIA since [Karl] Wendlinger's accident and then Jenson Button's as well, has been commendable.

"What will happen for sure after this [Perez] incident is that the FIA and the teams will look again at what improvements the teams can make.

"But for an accident of that severity, and Sergio to have bruising and some sprains, is something that F1 should be proud of. But we will not be complacent and rest on our laurels, and anything we can do to improve safety we will do."

Felipe Massa expressed his frustration at the situation, and reckoned that calls from drivers to change the layout of the chicane area in Monaco have fallen on deaf ears in recent years.

"It is very dangerous," said the Brazilian. "Some places we have been fighting for a long time already because of that wall, but it looks like Monaco is okay. Not like the other tracks, but [only at] Monaco can we drive like that, and they never took away that wall.

"Here we saw two big accidents. Nico was lucky because it could have hurt the way he hit the wall. Sergio was not so lucky although he lost the car in a similar way because he crashed in the side. Anyway, it is pretty clear that it is dangerous."

Rubens Barrichello said that Monaco would likely always remain a dangerous place, because space limitations meant that a major track overhaul was impossible.

"Monte Carlo is a place where, with all due respect, everything has improved so much," he said. "Life improves, car safety improves, tracks improve and so on, and Monte Carlo is a bit of an old track.

"It's good for the show, everyone loves it and everything. But in terms of safety it's not the best place. So from time to time it's the very same place that we keep on having accidents, and if we don't do anything, in so many years we will have another one."

With four drivers having crashed out over the course of the Monaco weekend after losing control on the bump at the end of the tunnel, there is a chance of further incidents in the race itself.

Brawn believed that it would be up to the drivers to be especially careful at that area of the circuit - especially when tyres are not up to normal pressures.

"I think the beginning of the race, or any time after the safety car, is always a moment when drivers will have to be cautious until the tyre pressures come up," he said.

"We all run the cars as competitively low as we can, and when you lose tyre pressures the car can bottom more. The drivers are very aware of that, they are very experienced about that and know you have to be cautious in those circumstances until they come back to normal."

shares
comments
Five themes to watch for in Monaco

Previous article

Five themes to watch for in Monaco

Next article

Heidfeld says bumps hurting Renault

Heidfeld says bumps hurting Renault
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021