Explorator Consulting :: Safety at the sharp end…
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ARTICLE BY

Andy Murdy

Safety at the sharp end…

The New Year brings the sporting calendar around again which is, for sports fans like me, a positive thing.  FA Cup third round, Australian Open tennis, the NFL playoffs and the Superbowl, the start of the Six Nations rugby union, testing in motor sport all happen in January and February which is exciting and often bewildering as it is difficult to know what to watch and when!

The start of testing for the various categories of motorsports is always interesting.  Which teams have it right, which ones are on the pace straight away, which struggle?  Which drivers and riders are comfortable in their new teams or with their new machines?  The initial sessions in Jerez this year involved a crash for Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes.  A failure in the rear brakes seems to be the cause of the car leaving the track, crossing a gravel trap and hitting a tyre wall.  That’s a serious crash, coming at the end of the back straight.

The great news is that he walked away from the crash unhurt.  Not so long ago a crash like that would have been a disaster.  As it is the reports from the testing are all concerned with the technical issues that caused the problem and the loss of track time… Thankfully the advances in safety technology in F1 meant the story has a positive outcome.  What I noticed is that the story almost glosses over the potential tragedy in this incident.  It is almost expected that a driver can crash his car at high speed and walk away.  That is an enormous achievement and a mark of how far we have come in F1 over the recent past.

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“A failure in the rear brakes seems to be the cause of the car leaving the track, crossing a gravel trap and hitting a tyre wall. That’s a serious crash, coming at the end of the back straight.”

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