Friday, October 5, 2018

Open Wheel Racing's Cockpit Safety Debate Rages On



As thou Questione is to say Halo or Goodbye to that Bloody Contraption covering thou Formula 1 Drivers Heads...

Continuing playing Ketsup here in Nofendersville, this is simply intended to be just a thought provoking exercise for you, my "Valued" No Fenders readers...

As first I'll need to have My Gal Lucy', My ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader read me whatever Felipe Massa said in regards to proclaiming that IndyCar isn't doing enough for Driver Safety, following Robert Wickens Horrendous Shunt at Pocono - Before commenting upon it.


Although as a former Formula 1 Driver who's experienced a Severe Knock on the Head during the '09 Hungarian Grand Prix. I totally feel Massa's entitled to voice his opinions upon Driver Safety publicly...

Yet as a Formula 1 "Purist," having grown up with the sport since the late 1980's, albeit missing  the early 1980's era where the Drivers Cockpit saw multitudes 'O lower extremity injuries due to their "Cab Forward" design. When the front axle's centerline was behind their feet during the Dawn of the initial turbo era!

Part of the allure to Formula 1 for Mwah was their being the Baddest Land Sharks Open Wheel Racing machinery on the Planet! and thus, naturally I'm not a Fan of F1's HALO contraption.


That being said, I'm not opposed to improving Drivers Safety, especially when it comes to costing their life's. Yet it seems like there's an interesting Divide, or Dare I Say It? There seems to be a Political War 'O Words going on, with obviously the FIA being Pro-Halo.


As the opening lap of this year's Grand Prix of Portland IndyCar race made me think about this safety issue, since Marco Andretti's Dallara DW12 Somersaulted as part of a five car "Pile-up" in The Festival Curve's Turn 2. Ultimately Breaking his Roll Hoop and leaving him stranded upside down, with his helmet being mud stained afterwards!

As Marco Dryly said, it's a good thing NOBODY Hit Him when he was in this precarious position! Whilst I believe that 'Ol R', aka Robin Miller spoke to Ed Jones during the race, who was also involved in the first lap shunt and had streaks of rubber upon his crash bucket...

As these two close calls made me Flashback to the 2017 Indy 500? Or wherever it was that HULIO' had Alexander Rossi's tyre up close 'N personal when leaving the Pits.

Ah, thou Beauty of getting old-ER... Since actually it was the 2016 Pocono 500 race No less, which is somewhat ironic, since that's where Wickens Horrendous accident occurred.


Yet two current Formula 1 Drivers are less than impressed with All of the Halo Ballyhoo, with Max Verstappen's comments being the most interesting to me. As he debates whether or not current F1 Cars can cause such a problem of Striking a Driver's Head or if they'll simply ride up 'N over instead?


While I'll say it again. I'm Not an Engineer or know Anything about Safety or Designing Racing Cars. But I certainly would Dispute the Claims that Indy Cars isn't doing enough for their Drivers Safety. As I'd argue they're constantly trying to improve their racecars, which after all are built by Dallara.  Ironically the very same outfit involved in the current Haas F1 chassis. And one of the primary reasons for IndyCar introducing the DW-12.

Would the Halo have saved Justin Wilson and Harry Surtees? Most likely, yet in the same inference, the Halo probably wouldn't have helped Dan Wheldon and certainly not Jules Biancci!

As I'm very curious how Halo would impact a crash into Catch Fencing at let's say for sake of argument, 220mph! Even though Indy Cars, and Formula 1 exceed 230mph in certain instances.

Would the Halo's front center post rip off and impail a Driver? Would the Halo's ring be caught upon the catch fencing and also subsequently impact the Drivers Head? Or cause this hurtling projectile into unforeseen reactions?

While I've still yet to read anywhere how Formula 1 Drivers are supposed to extricate themselves and "Bunny-hop" down the nose of their stricken racecar during an ERS electrical failure, a la what Nico Hulkenberg endured Onboard his Renault during the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix.

And I could go on 'N on, since although I cannot see how UGLY the HALO is, and it certainly hasn't detracted from the racing this year, other than possibly emboldening Drivers to be more reckless?

I cannot help but think of the negative initial reaction to the HANS Device, but at the same time I'm also nauseatingly Sick of hearing the FIA, presumably at Monsieur Todt's direction Beating it's Drums over how Fantastic the Halo is...

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