Russell wants the FIA’s automated safety system to suspend Formula 1 races after accidents

Russell wants the FIA’s automated safety system to suspend Formula 1 races after accidents

Russell was left screaming for the race to be stopped after his crashed W15 bounced onto the track and rested on its side following an accident while chasing Fernando Alonso.

The aftermath of the accident caused great concern among Formula 1 fans and observers due to the danger.

Although the live broadcast clipped Russell’s accident as it progressed, once it stopped, it appeared to take a long time before the virtual safety car system was activated, and when it did, the Mercedes had already passed Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin. .

He had to be hastily warned by former race engineer Ben Michel, who has only been working since the Suzuka weekend as Aston’s head of performance improvement, as Stroll was approaching the crash site nearly blinded by the high-speed nature of the corner where the accident occurred.

This knowledge was part of Russell’s response over his team radio in his attempt to stop the race, as has been the case with the tragic recent history of motorsport where rookie drivers Antoine Hubert and Delano van’t Hoff were killed after their wrecked cars collided hard again. Speed ​​accidents in Spa.

When asked by if he wanted to implement a new safety system to avoid a similar situation recurring in the future, Russell replied: “It was very uncomfortable.

“You’re on a blind corner (where cars are approaching at) 250 km/h, straight on the racing line and the car is half upside down. (I was) waiting for disaster to happen.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

Photography: Sam Bagnall/Motorsport Pictures

“Fortunately, there was a 10-second gap behind me and I think there were 10 or 12 seconds before the virtual safety car came out.

“But in 10 seconds, you could have five, six, seven cars if it was the first lap of the race and (I would have crashed) a few times, even with the yellow flag.

“We’ve seen close incidents before where a car returns (to the track after an accident) – Carlos (Sainz) in 2022 in Japan.

“I think we need to find a way that if a car is in a danger zone, (there can be) an automated VSC system immediately – within half a second or so because those seconds are important.

“Lives are at risk. We’ve seen it at the spa several times in the past, (with) cars surfing. I think it’s time with technology that we have to take steps in this area.”

The incident is currently under review by the FIA, which Autosport/ understands will result in a significant change to the turn in question for the 2025 Australian Grand Prix.

It is also understood that in relation to Russell’s wishes to implement an automated process as part of a safety system update to cover such incidents, the Board feels that its current procedures are working as required in this case.

The yellow flag digital scoreboard display activated 1.2 seconds after Russell struck the barrier, which then switched to double yellow colors – including the physical flags shown by nearby marshals – 5.7 seconds after the impact began.

As soon as 8.1 seconds have passed, the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe path leading to the crash site is put into a double yellow state, which is also transmitted to the driver’s audio signals and the cockpit displays of each car.

It has also been suggested that one of the complex and significant visual issues in this case is that it takes several seconds from the activation of the VSC system in Race Control to being displayed on the television broadcast graphics.

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