Burti: Senna safety improvements saved me in 2001 Belgian GP crash

Former Ferrari Formula 1 test driver Luciano Burti says he only survived his 111G accident in the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix thanks to safety improvements triggered by the death of Ayrton Senna

Burti: Senna safety improvements saved me in 2001 Belgian GP crash

Burti crashed his Prost head on into the Blanchimont tyre barriers after a failed attempt to pass former Jaguar team-mate Eddie Irvine, with his car coming to rest under the tyre barriers.

In an interview in the latest edition of The Autosport Podcast - available for free via all good podcast suppliers including iTunes and Spotify - Burti recalls the accident and the changes that followed to help other drivers.

"It's part of the human being that thinks bad things must happen to have the attitude to make it better," said Burti.

"Spa was a huge crash when I crashed into the wall it was 270km/h, I had no brakes so I went straight to the wall and it was 111G on impact, which is a number I never heard before.

"If it wasn't for Senna's death, I wouldn't have survived because Formula 1 became much better in terms of safety.

Listen to The Autosport Podcast here

"From my accident, some things changed. For example, you can see that from then on all the tyre walls had blankets on top because my car was underneath the tyres.

"My helmet was broken in the front because we used to have a hole in it for the drink's bottle or the radio but since then holes are not allowed.

"They always make things better from a bad experience like I had."

Despite supporting such safety improvements, Burti believes the introduction of the halo last season was a step too far.

"I don't like the halo, I don't think it's necessary," said Burti.

"Maybe one day someone is going to get hurt from it or die from it [if the halo wasn't there], well if you don't want that happen let's make a speed limit of 100mph maximum.

"Once you are going over 180mph you are taking a risk. F1 is safe enough and I hope they don't try to make it bulletproof because that is part of the show.

"Motor racing must be a bit dangerous. I don't want to see anyone getting hurt, of course I don't want to see anyone dying, but it must be like that."

The Autosport Podcast is released twice a week and free to subscribe to, with recent guests including Derek Warwick, Pat Symonds and Karun Chandhok.

shares
comments
Vandoorne finding more joy in FE without 'politics' of F1 paddock

Previous article

Vandoorne finding more joy in FE without 'politics' of F1 paddock

Next article

Baku extends deal to host Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix to 2023

Baku extends deal to host Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix to 2023
Load comments
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
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

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
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

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
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