Alonso’s lucky escape

There are unlikely to be many of you who follow motorsport who have not by now seen the footage from Fernando Alonso’s spectacular crash during the Australian GP and also not many that didn’t take a moment to wonder how on earth he walked away from it. This sort of crash has brought up some really important points about F1 saftey and we think Alonso’s tweet after the incident really sums things up;

He wrote on Twitter: “I am aware that today I spent some of the luck remaining in life, I want to thank McLaren, the FIA for the safety on this cars.”


We hope there is no actual quota of luck and that Alonso has plenty left even if there is but his thanks to the FIA and McLaren is well placed. If he had more than just a few words to write it he probably would have thanked people like the late Sid Watkins, Max Mosley and probably Jackie Stewart among others. All of these people have at one time or another played a role in the development of safety features both in and out of the car that lead to very high level of safety in the sport. A level of safety that actually allowed a driver to crash at 193 mph, flip, fly through the air, flip again and smash into a tyre wall…and still walk away!

Of course, there will always be accidents that are not covered by the years of testing and safety research like the one which lead to the tragic loss of Jules Bianchi but if you consider the number of deaths in F1 only 30 years ago the sport has come a very long way. The discussion rages on about having some sort of cover for the drivers’ heads but some say there needs to be some risk and open cockpit racing should remain just that.

As you might imagine we spend a great deal of time working with the FIA and MSA on fire safety issues and have been part of a number of big changes in F1 as well as other levels of motorsport. It is because of this involvement we were extra happy to see Fernando walk away from his “shunt” on Sunday and would also like to thank and celebrate all those who have fought for driver safety over the years that meant he could do just that…walk away.


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