Next Steps In Safety

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Shrieker
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Next Steps In Safety

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As we've witnessed time and again, you can never get complacent with safety in motorsports, and last weekend's race was another wake up call. I'm sure everyone can see things that should be there, but are missing for one reason or another.

Below though, are my humble proposals going forward;

1) No naked barriers. Please, we're in 2020. At least triple tire layer everywhere, no ifs or buts.

2) Automated spotter. In the shape of both audial and visual warning (maybe in the form of a red light on the mirrors). There are hairy situations like triple wide where a driver just would not be able to tell. If a sim like iracing can do it extremely well, then there can be just no excuses. We have the tech and the money to do it, it's not a technical challenge at all at this point. It can be designed in a 'smart' way too, where it's not intrusive, but provide the driver with insight regarding approach speed to act as a collision warning. Think a bit like heat seeking tone that climbs up gradually for gradual closing speeds, and goes from 0 to 100 in a millisecond when the closing speed is fast.

3) Extend the sidepods and beef up the side impact structures . Make the monocoque beefier overall too, the added weight can be subtracted from elsewhere on the car. Make the crash tests even more stringent. The nosecones need a rethink as well. They're too 'spear-like' at their current form.

4) On track safety procedures must be reviewed. We've had marshalls on the track in a SC period, truck+marshalls on the side of the track in the wet on a live session, and then marshalls on the track again at full racing speeds respectively. This is unacceptable. F1 has clearly taken a step back at the post Charlie era, and they must get their act together asap.

5) Indycar style panels in front of the rear wheels to prevent low/mid speed flips. Hulkenberg's and Stroll's flips were completely preventable and nonsensical in this day and age.

6) Advanced automated warning in limited visibility conditions: If there's a crash splattering debris all over the track (or a car sitting in whatever orientation on the track itself), a signal is instantly dispatched to the other cars either thru a central system, or a decentralized manner (think car to car, or car to beacon to car transmission), or both to have them slow down immediately.

7) I don't know what can prevent a Massa-like event, sans a windscreen. You can never protect against all eventualities though, no matter how many precautions you take.

*I had opened a separate thread for #2 a few years ago, and the idea was generally disliked for some reason.
Last edited by Shrieker on Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Just_a_fan
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Additional to your list, I did wonder about a high speed fire car. Something like the medical car that follows the cars on the first lap, but have 3 or 4 around the circuit. Fit them with an AAAF system in the back and a nozzle on the front. Then just drive them up towards a crashed car and turn on the pump. Send a lot of foam out over the car in a very short period of time. Going to be a lot better than a few hand held extinguishers and has the benefit of being able to get close to the car if necessary but also has power to send extinguisher out a distance is needed.

Perhaps it's a solution that isn't really needed, but Grosjean's crash showed that quick, high volume, fire response is perhaps required.
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Manoah2u
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Shrieker wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:19 pm


1) No naked barriers. Please, we're in 2020. At least triple tire layer everywhere, no ifs or buts.
I agree, i was shocked with this incident on a car getting through. that needs to be resolved.
whether tire barriers are the correct decision i'm not sure of, but a naked barrier where you can go through, is not done.

additionally, i think one of the biggest problems here was that the barrier was angled too much facing against the track instead of 'alongside' the direction of the track (which is partially due to the need for escape routes). as such, you're face-on hitting a wall instead of 'colliding' sideways into a wall. it was also too close to the track in the end.
it may be a 'freak' accident, but by now, that's really all that happens and freak accidents are the 'new normal' in f1.
2) Automated spotter. In the shape of both audial and visual warning (maybe in the form of a red light on the mirrors). There are hairy situations like triple wide where a driver just would not be able to tell. If a sim like iracing can do it extremely well, then there can be just no excuses. We have the tech and the money to do it, it's not a technical challenge at all at this point. It can be designed in a 'smart' way too, where it's not intrusive, but provide the driver with insight regarding approach speed to act as a collision warning. Think a bit like heat seeking tone that climbs up gradually for gradual closing speeds, and goes from 0 to 100 in a millisecond when the closing speed is fast.
I don't really understand what you are saying here. Like some warning that there is an object ahead that is moving far too slow compared to normal/delta speed? if that, then it might be interesting, perhaps if there is a difference of 20 or 30 kph compared to normal delta, this could be a thing. it would be a pre-emptive yellow flag of sorts. virtual yellow flag?
3) Extend the sidepods and beef up the side impact structures . Make the monocoque beefier overall too, the added weight can be subtracted from elsewhere on the car. Make the crash tests even more stringent. The nosecones need a rething as well. They're too 'spear-like' at their current form.
I do believe that some bigger protection alongside the narrow 'cockpit' might marginally improve safety in the case of a side impact. however, i think grosjean's crash and how intact the 'safety cell' remained is proof that it's safe enough, so i wouldn't agree here.
4) On track safety procedures must be reviewed. We've had marshalls on the track in a SC period, truck+marshalls on the side of the track in the wet on a live session, and then marshalls on the track again at full racing speeds respectively. This is unacceptable. F1 has clearly taken a step back at the post Charlie era, and they must get their act together asap.
yeah, marshalls running across the track was retarded.

also, one thing to concider: despite having their dumb comments too, SkyF1 did mention that neither the Medical car staff nor the marshalls could come close enoguh to Grosjean to help him due to the intensity of the heat of the fire due to the lack of face protection.

For example, F1 drivers, and certain pit crew, are wearing not only fire balaclava's, but also fully enclosed helmets.

Perhaps it's a thing to concider to have atleast 1 marshall at any given area of the track in a fully fireproof suit, so that even a fire wouldn't prevent them to reach a driver in peril. If they would make a suit that even includes perhaps cooling facilities, then in the worst case, this marshall could run into the fire to help a driver escape and be able to reach physical contact distance.

something i noticed too is that the marshall that immediately after the fire started, running across the track, was aided by the medical car personel to release the safety pin of the fire extinguisher before he could use it.
Whether he was untrained, or under stress, i don't know, but even though minimal, it is time lost that could make things worse. It's one thing to operate a fire extinguisher in jeans and hands free, it's another thing whilst wearing heat-resistant working gloves in a heavy suit. Perhaps the FIA needs to look into the fire extinguishers too and 'simply' add bigger rings that are easier to remove when needed, OR, at the start of a race, remove the safety pins alltogether so that they're immediately able to be used.

5) Indycar style panels in front of the rear wheels to prevent low/mid speed flips. Hulkenberg's and Stroll's flips were completely preventable and nonsensical in this day and age.
please no. open wheeler is open wheeler. Stroll's flip was due to Kvyat making a retarded entry into a corner which he could never have made, there was a car there, he acted like there wasn't. If this was a street circuit he could not have made that corner anyway like he did so he had to brake. The problem was: he didn't brake. No matter what you do, the problem there was he didn't brake. Apart from that, there was no issue with Stroll at all.
6) Advanced automated warning in limited visibility conditions: If there's a crash splattering debris all over the track (or a car sitting in whatever orientation on the track itself), a signal is instantly dispatched to the other cars either thru a central system, or a decentralized manner (think car to car, or car to beacon to car transmission), or both to have them slow down immediately.
unneccesary, if there's an accident/contact, your engineer can inform you 'debris ahead' as they're already doing btw. so this can be taken off the list.
7) I don't know what can prevent a Massa-like event, sans a windscreen. You can never protect against all eventualities though, no matter how many precautions you take.
The Halo helps a lot in that already, and the improved helmets also help. I don't really see much need right now, except indeed a windscreen could fix but you're really losing the soul of F1. also, if you implement a windscreen, grosjean could not have gotten out. so no, that's not an option.
*I had opened a separate thread for #2 a few years ago, and the idea was generally disliked for some reason.
i don't get either why for some reason you need to nag about something from a few years ago.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

Manoah2u
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Just_a_fan wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:01 pm
Additional to your list, I did wonder about a high speed fire car. Something like the medical car that follows the cars on the first lap, but have 3 or 4 around the circuit. Fit them with an AAAF system in the back and a nozzle on the front. Then just drive them up towards a crashed car and turn on the pump. Send a lot of foam out over the car in a very short period of time. Going to be a lot better than a few hand held extinguishers and has the benefit of being able to get close to the car if necessary but also has power to send extinguisher out a distance is needed.

Perhaps it's a solution that isn't really needed, but Grosjean's crash showed that quick, high volume, fire response is perhaps required.
I noticed there were some quads parked soon after the incident.
Perhaps the F1 circus can have 'fire squad' or 'rapid assistance' squad in the form of one or two quads within certain hundred meters of any incident, and have extinguisher tanks on the quads and a medical and/or tool pack on it.
perhaps a fire helmet, that they can put on in the case of a fire, and start extinguishing procedure semi-automatically.

they would have to be either seated or resting alongside the vehicles at all times during the race, and they must be able to be deployed easily to the track. however, you need to take into account that during the start of a GP all cars are packed together, in the middle of a GP they're spread all out, so they can become a hazard on the track, and can only be applied in the case of a SC or RedFlag.

perhaps then it's also worthwile to see if a crash with high G impact (measurable by a device) would automatically induce a red-flag situation and not the decision of Masi or the stewards.
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

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Shrieker
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Good point @ Just_a_fan. They could scrape a few millions here and there, and improve safety standards, and this by no means is a redundant proposition.

@Manoah2u,

#2 is for when the cars are side by side, and for some reason, the drivers can't tell. Limited visibility (think rain), or multiple cars on either side are situations where the drivers just can't handle by themselves - both of which has happened countless times over the years I've been watching. An automated spotter calling 'three wide, four wide', or 'outside/inside' or 'clear' all accompanied by green/red lights on the mirrors and/or the steering wheel can prevent a crash and save a life one day. iracing has this automated spotter and works extremely well.
however, i think grosjean's crash and how intact the 'safety cell' remained is proof that it's safe enough, so i wouldn't agree here.
If I wasn't mistaken, the monocoque was cracked along the axis of the front mounting point of the halo. There's no telling what would've happened if the monocoque had to absorb more energy.
also, one thing to concider: despite having their dumb comments too, SkyF1 did mention that neither the Medical car staff nor the marshalls could come close enoguh to Grosjean to help him due to the intensity of the heat of the fire due to the lack of face protection.

For example, F1 drivers, and certain pit crew, are wearing not only fire balaclava's, but also fully enclosed helmets.

Perhaps it's a thing to concider to have atleast 1 marshall at any given area of the track in a fully fireproof suit, so that even a fire wouldn't prevent them to reach a driver in peril. If they would make a suit that even includes perhaps cooling facilities, then in the worst case, this marshall could run into the fire to help a driver escape and be able to reach physical contact distance.

something i noticed too is that the marshall that immediately after the fire started, running across the track, was aided by the medical car personel to release the safety pin of the fire extinguisher before he could use it.
Whether he was untrained, or under stress, i don't know, but even though minimal, it is time lost that could make things worse. It's one thing to operate a fire extinguisher in jeans and hands free, it's another thing whilst wearing heat-resistant working gloves in a heavy suit. Perhaps the FIA needs to look into the fire extinguishers too and 'simply' add bigger rings that are easier to remove when needed, OR, at the start of a race, remove the safety pins alltogether so that they're immediately able to be used.
All excellent points.
please no. open wheeler is open wheeler.
Maybe just extend the floor in front of the rear wheel outside a bit, leaving a bit of the rear tire still exposed, to prevent a complete overlap between a rear/front tire :wink: There still would be some overlap but not enough to easily flip one car as we've seen. Also, #2 would help a lot with this as well.
unneccesary, if there's an accident/contact, your engineer can inform you 'debris ahead' as they're already doing btw. so this can be taken off the list.
If a crash happens mere seconds ahead of you in limited visibility, the response time with humans involved will never be enough. Hence the need for automation.
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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What's an acceptible false positive rate for all proposed automated systems and what's an appropriate tolerance to bound that false positive rate?

Manoah2u
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Shrieker wrote:
#2 is for when the cars are side by side, and for some reason, the drivers can't tell. Limited visibility (think rain), or multiple cars on either side are situations where the drivers just can't handle by themselves - both of which has happened countless times over the years I've been watching. An automated spotter calling 'three wide, four wide', or 'outside/inside' or 'clear' all accompanied by green/red lights on the mirrors and/or the steering wheel can prevent a crash and save a life one day. iracing has this automated spotter and works extremely well.
aahh makes sense, you mean something like modern road cars have 'lights' on the mirrors to indicate a car is in it's 'blind spot' right? yes, that would be an interesting thing to concider implementing. like some sort of radar?
Shrieker wrote:
If I wasn't mistaken, the monocoque was cracked along the axis of the front mounting point of the halo. There's no telling what would've happened if the monocoque had to absorb more energy.
surely the fact the back end snapped away and there were some cracks, energy gets adsorbed away from the driver, so not a bad thing in general i'd think, but sure, in that way definately something to look into.
Shrieker wrote:
Maybe just extend the floor in front of the rear wheel outside a bit, leaving a bit of the rear tire still exposed, to prevent a complete overlap between a rear/front tire :wink: There still would be some overlap but not enough to easily flip one car as we've seen. Also, #2 would help a lot with this as well.
that sounds a lot better to me than indy's solution.
Shrieker wrote: If a crash happens mere seconds ahead of you in limited visibility, the response time with humans involved will never be enough. Hence the need for automation.
so a rapid decelleration warning like modern cars have built in, braking automatically in certain cases.
could be interesting, but afaik modern cars use camera's and some radar block in the grille/nose of the car,
and this would be a gigantic aero obstacle in F1, but perhaps some sort of radar could work.
only question that would pop up in my mind is: would it also work in big elevation changes as in eau rouge @ spa?
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Shrieker
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Manoah2u wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:19 pm

so a rapid decelleration warning like modern cars have built in, braking automatically in certain cases.
could be interesting, but afaik modern cars use camera's and some radar block in the grille/nose of the car,
and this would be a gigantic aero obstacle in F1, but perhaps some sort of radar could work.
only question that would pop up in my mind is: would it also work in big elevation changes as in eau rouge @ spa?
Yes, actually i had though and posted about this after Hubert's(RIP) crash. Cars already have built in G sensors. The FIA are immediately notified if there's a high G impact. Why not put a transponder on the cars, and let everyone else on the track know instantly as well ? Especially those who are close by.
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Shrieker
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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nzjrs wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:18 pm
What's an acceptible false positive rate for all proposed automated systems and what's an appropriate tolerance to bound that false positive rate?
F1 cars already have a multitude of sophisticated sensors and they work fairly well most of the time, would you concur ?

But to expand on your question: If there's a false positive for proposition #2 (automated spotter warns of a car alongside where there is none), I don't see how a driver would lose anything.

For #6, you could tie the system to VSC, so everyone slows down together, preventing a slow car / fast car situation.
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Manoah2u wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:19 pm

aahh makes sense, you mean something like modern road cars have 'lights' on the mirrors to indicate a car is in it's 'blind spot' right? yes, that would be an interesting thing to concider implementing. like some sort of radar?
Yes, presumably the system would consist of transponders an all four sides of the cars (probably front/rear wing endplates are the best bet), but maybe there's a much simpler solution, I can't claim I'm technically well versed regarding this.
Last edited by Shrieker on Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.

No penalty points, no time penalties, no warnings.
Last edited by smellybeard on Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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smellybeard wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:38 pm
Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.
what?
Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools.

smellybeard
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Manoah2u wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:39 pm
smellybeard wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:38 pm
Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.
what?
Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.

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Shrieker
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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smellybeard wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:38 pm
Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.
Yes, maybe your penalty propositions are a bit on the heavy handed side, but drivers rejoining the track dangerously have been a recurring theme, and certainly driving standards regarding this should be reviewed.
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smellybeard
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Re: Next Steps In Safety

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Shrieker wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:41 pm
smellybeard wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:38 pm
Paint red lines in the more extreme run-off areas and hand out no-blame, three-race bans for crossing them. Yellow areas too, with instant disqualification for entering them.
Drivers are taking far too many liberties with the safety systems that are in place. The need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the matter.
Yes, maybe your penalty propositions are a bit on the heavy handed side, but drivers rejoining the track dangerously have been a recurring theme, and certainly driving standards regarding this should be reviewed.
No, they're not.
The Halo seemed heavy handed but it works.
There needs to be some give and take.