gridwalker wrote:I gotta agree with Richard : Hampus, how many fatal accidents have you watched live on TV? Anyone who was watching F1 that weekend will remember why that wasn't (and must never become) "normal".
But still, during that time, every time they crashed they did not die. That time was over. It wasn´t the Jim Clark era even though people still died sometimes.
The consensus of opinion within the paddock following Imola 1994 was that F1 had been extremely lucky
to have gone so long without a fatality : At that time, impact testing was rudimentary at best and head protection was non-existent. The steps that have been taken since that weekend in the name of improving safety (many of which seemed to be draconian knee-jerk reactions at the time) have completely changed the game in terms of managed risk.
Non-fatal car crashes may have been common back then, but that was a statistical anomaly; F1 had been living on borrowed time for over a decade, ignoring blatant safety issues because the statistics made the sport seem safer than it was.
Statistical anomalies happen all the time; get a mathematician to explain the statistics and perceptual myths behind a "lucky streak" and you will see how the random nature of event sequences can distort your interpretation of a sequence to give the impression that an "extreme" outcome is much less likely that it really is ... that was what everyone THOUGHT was normal until Mayday 1994.
Suddenly, 2 drivers were dead within 48 hours and the entire sport had to rethink its approach. If the investigation into these deaths and subsequent response by the teams and FIA had ignored all of the contributory factors and had focussed solely on the item that struck the fatal blow (the broken suspension, as you kindly pointed out) then the culture of accepted risk would have continued within the sport unmoderated and we would have had many
more fatalities in the following years.
To say that the circumstances surrounding that weekend were a "normal" occurrence strikes me as horrendously blasé : surely these people who gave their lives for our entertainment deserve a bit more respect.