Japanese Grand Prix

Nothing to do with digital photography of course, but I’ve been a follower of Formula 1 for 60 years or so. In the early days, so many drivers died each year, and the improvements to F1 car safety have been remarkable recently. But today saw a horrible accident involving Jules Bianchi, which should make all F1 followers much more aware of how dangerous the sport is.

Tragic – I hope that he recovers fully, and that early signs are not as bad as they sound (posted at around 12:30 pm on 5th October). It occurs to me (and others) that any track-side vehicles, especially recovery vehicles, should be designed to reduce the possible impact of an accident like this – ‘industrial/agricultural’ vehicles like the one involved this time seem normal, and I don’t think I have ever seen a recovery vehicle which seems designed for safe use in these circumstances. Perhaps marshals and others who may have to go on track should be better protected too? I found the images of some photographers alongside the cars during pit-lane restarts quite worrying as well.

Of course, the late start meant that light was getting worse towards the end of that race, though the fact that the weather was already forecast to be worse later in the day is also an issue. Timing of the event (and the apparent unwillingness to modify it when the weather situation became clear) was perhaps influenced by the media, and their audience, so moving the start to an earlier time would not just have ‘inconvenienced’ local fans who weren’t expecting it, but also the all-powerful media and their audience (ie you and me).

Let’s just hope that Jules recovers, and that more lessons are learnt, and action is taken, as a result of this. The cars themselves are so much safer than in the past (as a 68 year old I remember when several drivers died each year), but FIA need to think more beyond car safety.

About Mike Hessey

I'm a BOF (Boring Old Fellow) and MOS (Miserable Old Soul) whose main interests are photography, cycling, walking and computers. Regrettably recent problems with my legs, back and heart have reduced the cycling and walking.
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