Why Joe Saward is wrong on Bianchi aftermath

Joe Saward has just publised an article which refers to people ‘banging on’ about tractors on race tracks. The article reeks of complacency.

Since someone has been nearly killed by hitting a tractor I’m not sure why his tone is so dismissive.

At the risk of ‘banging on’ it is worth reflecting on the fact that Charlie Whiting himself has said the FIA is investigating whether the impact protection on tractors (which is currently non existent) can be introduced.

Objects in harms way on a race track CAN be protected, that’s why tyre barriers, tecpro and SAFER exist.

As Charlie himself said, lorries in Europe have bars to stop cars going underneath, and emergency motorway response vehicles have large deformable impact cushions. Both are possibilities for a tractor on an FIA Category 1 circuit.

It’s even feasible to design and mandate a bespoke removal vehicle specifically for this purpose, designed to absorb impact if struck by a race car.

So with apologies to Mr Saward, whose opinion I usually respect, I’ll reserve the right to go on ‘Banging on’ about safety in motorsport, since people ‘banging on’ and demanding change has led to every safety improvement he now seem to take for granted.

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