Totally OT BBC PC rant.

Eh?
We are at the limit of helmet design assuming the shell is the ideal balance of carbon, kevlar etc (likely from Senna's accident!) and the foam is ConFor which is the best energy absorber as long as temperatures are above about 12oC (likely sat on someones noggin).
So the most likely change, long suggested & long discounted, is to "F111 bubble the cockpits". However that reduces one injury risk (debris & car in the face re open wheel contact stacking cars), but you potentially introduce a significant thermal load on the driver for the race which increases other risks. Most closed-cockpit "World Cars" have serious heat exhaustion problems despite a silicone hose as big as a dryer's stuffed right in front of the driver's face.
Whilst the driver did not steer, I think he did brake - the tyres can be seen momentarily stopping & restarting as ABS kicked in on the runoff area. It may be he couldn't brake effectively or simply had his foot on the brake pedal and engine braking deceleration in an F1 car is enough to push the pedal. Gravel traps are a problem if you hit them sideways (which is very likely in a tail-heavy F1 car) because they will induce a barrel roll. Humans will tolerate 120G+ in a full 6pt harness, 40-55G in a conventional safety belt, but just 10-15G in a vertical impact. That tyre wall was a lot better in depth than those about 20yrs ago and was hit head-on with alloy or kevlar honeycomb front crush-box of an F1 car. Kevlar crumples from the point of impact unlike steel which crumples less predictably some distance behind greatly increasing the risk of entrapment. It appears the damage sustained by the driver was, essentially, from road debris.
World Sports Cars can have their moments, re Mercedes airborne takeoff flip many years back. Motor Racing is vastly safer than it was, deaths were not just routine but expected throughout the season.
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In message

Who wants to see a zero risk event ?
Thankfully Gordon Brown doesn't run F1
They are today's gladiators
It's like expecting zero casualties in Afghanistan
--
geoff

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js.b1 wrote:

And also render it far more likely the driver will get trapped.

Exactly. This was so one off and freakish, it probably cannot be prevented.
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Its easy to prevent. Its doing it in an acceptable way that's hard.
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He didn't. The doc explained that when knocked unconcious, there's some sort of reaction that occurs which extends the ankles. The braking force was merely that of his foot resting on the pedals. It appeared to lock and unlock as he also had his foot on the throttle.
- the tyres can

There is no ABS on an F1 car. The impression that was given was simply the car pushing against the brakes with it's engine. The in car telemetry showed he was braking and accelerating at the same time. Clearly not the actions of a concious driver heading towards a wall.
It may be he couldn't brake effectively or simply had his

Indeed. All the damage sustained was from the debris impact to Massa's head. The impact with the tyre wall was pretty much a "nothing" accident in F1 terms, and had he not been hit by the debris, he'd have got out and walked away. In May, Tony Kanaan hit the Indianapolis wall at 220mph. It's concrete. He bounced off and walked away.
Mike P
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Mike P wrote:

Tends to be more 'glancinng' at indy.
Somwehere I worked out the deceleration of a tyre wall from various speeds, and a concrete wall too.
Last injury from a head on I can remember was Shumacher at silverstone. Bounced across the gravel at serious speed and broke a leg IIRC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbUDAlrJuY8

Was the reason they abandoned high speed gravel traps..

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Mike P wrote:

F1 cars are RWD and it was the front wheels which could be seen locking and unlocking. What the engine was doing cannot be relevant.
To me it gave all the appearance of a (semi?) conscious driver modulating the braking force to bring the car to a controlled stop - presumably he wasn't conscious enough to steer.
Am I imagining seeing someone say something about their sister bringing a vehicle to a controlled stop while unconscious? Can't see the post now...

Haven't seen that. Link?
Andy
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Andy Champ wrote:

That was the case..he pushed both feet hardish down.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

The wheels were locking and unlocking. He apparently managed to push the brake exactly the right amount...
Andy
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Andy Champ wrote:

I haven't a clue about F1 design these days. Do they still rely upon cadence braking rather than these clever electronic jiggery pokery brakes these days?
Over a decade ago, I caused a minor nose to tail in wet conditions on the M1. Poor fellow in front hadn't had a bump in 28 years. It was in my first car with ABS but I was still thinking cadence.
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On Tue, 4 Aug 2009 22:44:38 +0100

ABS was banned a few years ago now, so all braking is now devoid of electronic control.

Yes, it feels quite unnatural to lean on the pedal even when it's vibrating madly under your foot.
--

Brian Morrison

"I am not young enough to know everything"
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Brian Morrison wrote:

Quite.
Thanks for the info. Sadly for me and the guy in front, my reaction was inappropriate! Though I could now have a skill that the average guy on the street doesn't when I could (not?) be racing round Donington!
It would be very suitable with our current precipitation.
Will we have a UK F1 event next year?
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> Will we have a UK F1 event next year?
Bernie says "Yes", but he may just be trying to spoiler any move by Silverstone to be a venue for a FOTA break-away series.
Anthony
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Anthony Frost wrote:

My guess is that with Fuhrer Moseley out of the way, some of the nastier personality conflicts that resulted in Silverstone being ditched will fall away also, and with Donington being a rather difficult track to bring up to scratch, it will be Silverstone again.
An awful lot of this is all 'negotiating position'.
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On Wed, 05 Aug 2009 10:45:58 +0100

Except that the problem with Silverstone is that Bernie hates the BRDC committee because he considers it full of stuffed shirts.
--

Brian Morrison

"I am not young enough to know everything"
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Clot wrote:

I have and like ABS. I know it'll do at least 90% as well as Schumy, and it'll do it every time. I don't think I'm that good, certainly not at 22:00 after a long days panic at work.
A few years ago I was doing some testing of vehicle electronics, and wanted to test the deceleration we got against a 3rd party meter. I forgot this thing had no ABS... for about a second. Big Black marks!
Andy
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On 27/07/2009 23:01 The Natural Philosopher wrote:

That's about as accurate as John Watson's assertion that Massa was doing 170kph and the spring was *coming at him* at 50kph, so 'the closing speed was over 200kph'.
How a spring from Barrichello's car travelling at 170kph and in the same direction as Massa's can suddenly lose that 170kph and gain a further 50kph in the opposite direction after bouncing down a clear track beats me.
--
F


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F wrote:

No, my point is and was that the final crash was utterly irrelevant: the spring impact was the event, hiotting the tyre wall qwas a non event.

Me too. I noted that at the time.
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Have you ever seen how far a normal road car spring flies when it's released from it's mountings without proper spring clamps? A very, very long way. A much more powerful spring as on the Brawn car, under pressure will pop out at an alarming rate.
FWIW, telemetry shows Massa was doing 172 mph (not kph) when he hit the 900g spring. Even if the spring was stationary, that's going to hurt. A lot.
Mike P
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On 28/07/2009 12:18 Mike P wrote:

But it's not going to lose 170kph and gain 50kph in the opposite direction within 4 seconds unless it hits something, which it didn't as it bounced down the track on the racing line.

The figures I used were those used by John Watson and, as you point out, like the rest of his statement, they were wrong.

Without any doubt.
--
F


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