GP3 rollhoops recalled after Silverstone crash investigation

Dallara is to recall all GP3 rollhoops for reinforcement before the next round in Germany following an investigation after Mitch Gilbert's crash at Silverstone

GP3 rollhoops recalled after Silverstone crash investigation

In wet weather conditions during qualifying, Gilbert's car was travelling at 230km/h when it struck the much slower car of fellow series debutant Sebastian Balthasar from behind on the Hangar Straight, causing his car to backflip.

When it landed, the rollhoop was torn away from the monocoque.

Having also shed its right-front wheel, Gilbert's car slid upside down for a long period without its rollhoop, finally coming to rest in the gravel trap on the outside of Stowe Corner.

He required stitches in his right hand, but was otherwise unhurt.

"There was a car going slowly on the straight and with so much spray, I couldn't see him," said Gilbert. "The car rolled and stayed upside down for a long time."

Alex Lynn, who was right behind the crash and veered onto the grass to avoid it, said: "It was like a plane crash - the car backflipped and then slid a long way."

Series' technical director Didier Perrin told AUTOSPORT that a lack of TV footage of the crash had hindered the investigation.

However, the conclusion was that the unusual nature of the high-speed, rearwards-action impact against the track surface following the backflip was what caused the rollhoop to be pulled away.

"It's a very rare and unexpected case, and our action is purely as a precaution against another one-chance-in-a-million incident happening again," said Perrin.

"The rollhoop was pulled off the monocoque in this rearwards motion; we don't know at what speed it impacted the ground, but this is very unusual.

"So we decided to reinforce all the GP3 rollhoops before Hockenheim as a matter of precaution to prevent something like that happening again."

FIA MONITORING THE SITUATION

The sport's governing body, the FIA, has requested that it is kept informed of the findings of the investigation.

"We have asked Dallara for a full report because they need to understand exactly what has happened," said an FIA spokesman. "We will work together to learn from the failure.

"It goes without saying that the design had passed the necessary structure tests, but clearly the loads in the accident were massive at such high speeds. So this is a situation that concerns us."

AUTOSPORT has also learned that Gilbert's helmet was impounded by the FIA at Silverstone, due to the damage it sustained as he slid upside down for such a long time.

"We have taken the helmet, and this is something we have done many times over the years," added the FIA spokesman.

"We think it will be helpful to carefully examine the damage for our studies, and also involve the helmet manufacturer to try to understand what lessons can be learned."

shares
comments
Signature revives European Formula 3 return plan
Previous article

Signature revives European Formula 3 return plan

Next article

Moscow European F3: Lotus F1 junior Ocon takes dominant pole

Moscow European F3: Lotus F1 junior Ocon takes dominant pole
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying Plus

Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying

Prema Racing has long dominated FIA Formula 3, taking the teams’ title in two of the past three seasons. But its start to 2022 has been trickier than usual, and the answers lie in its qualifying performance

FIA F3
May 27, 2022
How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape Plus

How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape

With just five points separating the top five after two rounds, FIA Formula 3 looks set for another thrilling season in 2022. But who stands the best chance of pulling away from that pack, and who are the contenders bubbling under?

FIA F3
May 3, 2022
The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path Plus

The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path

Joining the FIA Formula 3 grid as a rookie with a team new to the series could prove daunting for most, but then there aren't many drivers who have the extensive experience Franco Colapinto brings from his time racing sportscars. The Argentinian explains how his LMP2 experience is already helping him in 2022

FIA F3
Mar 27, 2022
The British trio hunting for F3 title glory Plus

The British trio hunting for F3 title glory

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain. British trio Zak O’Sullivan, Ollie Bearman and Jonny Edgar have all become proteges of Formula 1 teams, and are talents to watch this year

FIA F3
Mar 18, 2022
How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors Plus

How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors

His career has been a slowburner but Gregoire Saucy trounced a collection of F1 juniors in Formula Regional by Alpine last year, and now he’s preparing to do it again in FIA F3. Here’s how the Swiss caught the world by surprise in 2021 and how he plans to do it all over again

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021
How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021 Plus

How Prema continued its dominance of F1's junior ladder in 2021

Taking three of the four titles and producing two outstanding champions in the process, Prema Racing remained the team to beat in Formula 1's feeder series in 2021. Team boss Rene Rosin reveals the traits that helped Dennis Hauger and Oscar Piastri to come out on top in Formula 3 and Formula 2

FIA F2
Dec 20, 2021