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FIA to investigate "unusual" Monza crash

NEWS STORY
15/09/2021

FIA race director, Michael Masi has said that the sport's governing body will investigate Sunday's crash involving Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

As the dust settles, and the F1 circus looks ahead to Sochi, with the stewards having had their say, the debate over who was to blame continues, with fans, drivers, former drivers and just about everyone having an opinion on who was to blame.

Meanwhile, the FIA's race director, Michael Masi has said that the "unusual" incident will be investigated by the sport's governing body.

As the pair battled for position in the first chicane, hitting the sausage kerb on the inside of the second part of the chicane, the Red Bull was lifted off the ground and subsequently landed on top of the Mercedes.

The most worrying aspect of the clash was the fact that the right-rear tyre on the Red Bull hit Hamilton's helmet, though thankfully the Halo device prevented any injury to the world champion.

Nonetheless, with images of the Briton sitting helplessly in his car as the wheel came down upon him, filling TV screens and newspaper front pages around the globe, it is not a good look for the sport.

"Incidents that are different, so it's not necessarily high G impacts or anything like that, but are unusual, we do look at," said Masi.

"Our safety department does look at them in detail, investigate and see what we can learn and what we can improve for the future," he added.

"That's how we have a whole lot of the safety features that we have today, and will continue to evolve into the future.

"We are already collecting all of the data, so we have all of the information and that will all go to our safety department together with any photographs and anything else we have along the way."

Taking to Twitter, FIA president, Jean Todt posted a picture of the Red Bull on top of the Mercedes, along with the comment: "Glad the halo was there".

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Pavlo, 15/09/2021 19:35

"The very clear role of FIA is to clearly and unambiguously set the rules. Either a driver is not allowed to overtake like this or not. If Max is only “predominantly” to blame, he should attempt same overtaking next time either not touching the kerb, or cutting the chicane and demanding a penalty for Lewis for his “non-predominant” guilty."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 15/09/2021 16:29

"Much of this boils-down to Max's attitude & feelings of entitlement. He has been cosseted & indulged by RBR into believing he has an absolute right to beat everyone. Ricciardo is the only teammate who's challenged his divine right. Highly ironic that RBR in general & Horner in particular didn't rate this crash as "dangerous" etc as a Silverstone, despite that Hamilton nearly ended-up with Max's car on his head....

Regarding his most recent crash, Verstappen bouncing off the sausage kerbs was a major factor in the seriousness of the crash & FIA needs to evaluate their role very carefully for future reference. It was always probable, once he'd embarked on his hopeless overtaking attempt, taking the line he did, that Verstappen would hit those kerbs & then Hamilton. Don't take my word for it just ask the Stewards

A simple observation that might save BOITH Teams a few bob, and hopefully prevent further dangerous crashes is that in general trying to overtake around the outside, on the narrow bits is always likely to end in tears.
To finish 1st, 1st you've got to finish....."

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3. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 15/09/2021 13:47

"As previous, its this rediculous chicane to blame for this and kerbs causing cars to get airborne. "

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4. Posted by kenji, 15/09/2021 3:19

"@ Pavlo ...my mention of 50% plus was meant to simply indicatea proportionate distance which every driver would understand...eg if you see a front wing alongside your front wheel you know where the relationship is at. That's 50% plus with some extra margin for good measure."

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5. Posted by C5, 14/09/2021 23:04

"Current F1 cars are ridiculous in size. A meter - or at least something close to that - and 200-300 mm narrower would probably do wonders for overtaking and curbing corner speed. Not to mention leaving much less space of those enormous shovels that passes for a front wing these days.

The only risk is F1 cars become too close to the lesser racing series, but I'd seriously like to see what F1 designers could do within such more restrictive dimension, ideally along with less regulation in other areas.

The primary reason, as I understand it, for the tight regulation is cost containment. But now the teams are budget capped (yeah I know it's mostly an illusion, but just pretending for a second what F1 management and FIA say is actually true..), why not give the teams much more engineering freedom within to spend their pennies?"

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6. Posted by C5, 14/09/2021 22:51

"As @Pavlo points out, the sausage curb is there to prevent drivers from just driving through the corner/chicanes. The only alternative is a wall.

I will admit to preferring walls since they are nicely unforgiving of transgression. But even I realize a wall would be very problematic and probably downright lethal in that specific corner.

A gravel trap is another alternative but it is also problematic in that specific corner. Which pretty much leaves the sausage curb or redesigning the corner, which I think would likely make the track much less interesting."

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7. Posted by Pavlo, 14/09/2021 21:52

"@flyinglap - when Max had his left wheels on a curb, he had his right wheels to the right of the white line, therefore was “on the track” and not obliged to return position if would manage to overtake.
The idea is to make cutting less advantageous by itself without a need of extra penalties. Before they had gravel and it worked perfectly, but it’s too dangerous for MotoGP, so they change to sausage kerbs that can be quickly installed. But this seems to be not perfect for cars."

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8. Posted by Pavlo, 14/09/2021 21:47

"@RP - very good point. Compared to 2007 (I checked Ferrari), F1 is now more than 1 meter longer and 20cm wider. This is only 14 years, and Monza is not getting wider. Of course it’s more difficult to battle.
Funnily, Lewis still remembers time, when RB would just fit in the space he left there, as well as how it was easier to turn tighter on 20% shorter car."

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9. Posted by flyinglap, 14/09/2021 21:31

"I concur with Max Noble on this: by eliminating the "sausage curb" there would have not been any problem at all. Verstappen would have been obviously forced by the lack of space to cut the chicane, and therefore he would have been obliged to concede the position, and then both he and Hamilton would have gone on fighting for the rest of the race. With such a rule already in place (giving back a position, having a lap time deleted etc), to employ "sausage curbs" becomes redundant. Insisting on using them is therefore suspicious, and is possibly due to mere commercial reasons. Only a couple of years ago Australian F3 driver Alex Peroni was seriously injured after going airborne over the "sausage curb" at the exit of Parabolica. What else needs to happen before they are banned?"

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10. Posted by RP, 14/09/2021 17:38

"The chicane at the end of the straight seems to be pretty tight for one car and it isn't clear to me how much Hamilton could have "tightened up" his line to provide as much space as the Red Bull needed to have a clear path around both the left and right turns. Isn't the preferred "line" one which provides for best acceleration out of the left hander? Easing and providing a full car's width would have resulted, at best, with the shoe being on the other foot coming out. That would be on Verstappen's, assuming he would not go wide. Right!!!!!"

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11. Posted by Superbird70, 14/09/2021 16:47

"The car that has the right to the corner is the one that gets through unscathed. It can be done (and was done in the same race), but there needs to be some mutual respect."

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12. Posted by Pavlo, 14/09/2021 15:58

"@kenji - it’s technically impossible for a driver in a racing car to measure 50%. Also it gets very marginal - first you have the right to squeeze, opponent just pushes half a meter in front and suddenly you lose this right, but your line already doesn’t allow changes.
My recommendation (to which no one will listen of course) is to split “right of the corner” and “leave space”. I would say each driver must leave one car width always, even if another car is 1 millimetre aside. This already works on the straights, can work same way in the corner. And then the driver in front has a “right to the corner”, meaning that can drive absolutely any line that leaves 1 car width to the opponent. Makes it simple to execute and control, and it’s fair."

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13. Posted by Pavlo, 14/09/2021 15:49

"I think we shouldn’t mix the (unfortunate) consequence with the blame for the incident.
The incident with Giovinazzi on lap 1 could have easily ended same way, or incident between Max and Lewis could have ended with an “innocent” wheelbanging.
So the FIA has 2 unrelated questions now:
1. What exactly did Max do wrong and what is the guideline for similar situation in future? What is the reasonable penalty for overtaking on the outside and not getting in front? From the decision of a stewards it was marginal, Max needed just 30 centimetres to make Lewis “predominately to blame”.
2. Remembering that motorsport is dangerous and any small mistake or failure with a bit of bad luck can lead to the serious consequences, what can be improved? Halo did awesome job, maybe there can be something else as good. What sounds worrying is that previously in pre-halo times it could have probably saved Senna many years ago, but now it saved many lives already. What did change now that cars started more often getting on top of each other? "

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14. Posted by Superbird70, 14/09/2021 13:55

"It seems that more than a couple drivers believe that they can come to no harm once strapped into their vehicles. This seems to be leading to the lack of awareness or respect for fellow competitors on the track. Hamilton escaped serious injury from a low speed incident by maybe 1cm. When Prost and Senna came to blows it was reckless. AFAIK IMHO it is still reckless."

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15. Posted by jcr, 14/09/2021 13:37

"In my opinion. Hammi/Merc Have lacked serious competition for a good few years now,
and as a result, I believe Hamilton has lost the Knack of wheel to wheel combat with equal/superior competition"

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