Sainz crash raises safety questions

Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:50pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Formula One drivers expressed safety concerns on Saturday after energy-absorbing barriers ended up on top of Carlos Sainz's Toro Rosso when he crashed into them in final practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

"It was shocking to see he was so deep in the barriers and he was covered by them, too," four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel told reporters.

"The idea is not for the barriers to come on top of you or the car go under, so it is something we need to understand," added the German Ferrari driver.

"I don't know why if there was any thing wrong with the way they installed the Tecpro barriers or if was just coincidence the way he crashed into them. I am sure that is something that needs to be avoided."

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said the incident would be examined, as always, to see if lessons could be learned but said the barriers had done their job in preventing serious injury.

Officials defended the installation of the barriers, which are designed to absorb energy more effectively than tire walls at places where high-speed crashes are likely, and said correct procedures had been followed.

Sainz was taken to hospital but was not seriously hurt and still hoping to race on Sunday subject to medical clearance.

The risk of drivers in exposed cockpits suffering head injuries is a constant worry in motorsport, with the debate only intensifying after the deaths this year of British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson and Formula One's Jules Bianchi.   Continued...

Marshals load the damaged car of Toro Rosso Formula One driver Carlos Sainz of Spain on a truck after he crashed during the third practice session of the Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov