FIA safety regulations supporting reckless driving?

  • Published on 22 Oct 2013 23:22
  • comments 0
  • By: Tom Spithaler
Since the death of the legendary Ayrton Senna on 1 May 1994 at Imola, safety regulations have changed dramatically. These safety rules have covered such big items as the designs of the circuits themselves, to tire specs, down-force, to fuel capacities and even gloves and helmets. These changes have been very successful.

Considering the death rate of a Formula One driver was 1 in 4 over a career of just 8 seasons in the 1960's and 1070's, men like Jackie Stewart and Dr. Sid Watkins championed safety for drivers. Those men, and men like them have saved numerable lives because of these safety upgrades, and no one can dispute that. However, like anything "good", there is always a point of diminishing returns.

This is a question that Anthony Davidson is now asking. How safe is too safe? One might think that this point is not possible, but Davidson seems to think otherwise. Not that it has to do with physical safety, but with the human psyche.

Having raced in Formula One for Minardi and Super Aguri, and having been a test and/or reserve driver for the British American Racing, Honda and Brawn GP teams, Davidson has seen his time on the fast tracks of the world. But when safety improves, so does one's willingness to take chances, and this is the avenue of Davidson's thoughts.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dadidson said, "They are borderline too safe. The FIA have done an incredible job, amazing when you think of where it used to be in the 60s and the 70s, and the cars are going faster now than ever before. The problem is, the safer the circuit becomes the more ruthless the driving becomes. So today there is such little respect for each others' safety on the track."

We have all seen some of this in recent races. Just last weekend the US Indy Car Series had their final race of the season, and with closing laps in front of them one driver took to swerving at the car he was trying to pass in order to intimidate him off the accelerator.

He continues, "They feel like they can bang wheels in a straight line, but 'the car is mega-safe - it will take it' is the belief and therefore you get this crazy, almost borderline reckless driving coming into play."

This is not a new topic either, but in the past it was simply the driver willing to take the risk knowing the cost. Alain Prost was well known for having criticized teammate Senna for that very thing; for racing without regard for safety and a win above all else attitude. Certainly something to consider.

Tom Spithaler
F1 Editor: USA

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BEGrand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

World Championship standings 2024

Pos
Driver
Team
Points
Pos
Team
Points
Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Related news

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Formula 1 Calendar - 2024

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
29 - Mar 2
Bahrain
7 - Mar 9
Saudi Arabia
22 - Mar 24
Australia
5 - Apr 7
Japan
19 - Apr 21
China
3 - May 5
United States of America
17 - May 19
Italy
24 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
Spain
28 - Jun 30
Austria
5 - Jul 7
United Kingdom
19 - Jul 21
Hungary
26 - Jul 28
Belgium
23 - Aug 25
Netherlands
30 - Sep 1
Italy
13 - Sep 15
Azerbaijan
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
18 - Oct 20
United States of America
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
Brazil
22 - Nov 24
United States of America
29 - Dec 1
Qatar
6 - Dec 8
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2024

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
29 - Mar 2
7 - Mar 9
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
22 - Mar 24
Australia Albert Park
5 - Apr 7
19 - Apr 21
3 - May 5
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
17 - May 19
24 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
5 - Jul 7
United Kingdom Silverstone
19 - Jul 21
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Jul 28
23 - Aug 25
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
30 - Sep 1
Italy Monza
13 - Sep 15
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
20 - Sep 22
18 - Oct 20
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
Brazil Interlagos
22 - Nov 24
United States of America Las Vegas Street Circuit
29 - Dec 1
6 - Dec 8
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule

Team profile

Show full profile
show sidebar