Hermann Tilke, the designer of the Bahrain circuit, believes that several things made Romain Grosjean’s crash as severe as it was.
Formula 1 saw its most serious crash in a long time when Grosjean crashed into the barriers at high speed in Bahrain, with half of his car piercing through them and a huge fire soon starting.
While the safety levels in the sports were generally praised as the Frenchman somehow escaped the incident largely unharmed, concerns were still raised about the reasons for the severity of the crash.
Tilke believes that it was a result of a number of factors coming together.
“At some point, everything will break if the force is great enough. Several factors came together,” Tilke said as per RaceFans.net.
“The accident happened on a straight, where the run-off zones are narrower and the crash barriers are parallel to the track. The angle of impact was 90 degrees. If it had been sharper, the car would have scraped along the guardrail and drained the energy. 53G acted on Grosjean, an incredible amount.
“With Grosjean’s angle of impact, it would have been better if there had been a force retarder in front of the guardrail, for instance, a stack of tyres. In other impacts, however, this could be counterproductive because the car can get caught in them.
Often in F1, in the aftermath of a serious crash, a number of new safety measures are introduced soon afterwards.
However, Tilke doesn’t think that the sport should rush into taking such measures this time, fearing that it could create other safety issues.
“Everything has advantages and disadvantages, you have to be careful not to worsen other scenarios,” he added.
“For example: if you drive a car, buckle up, because you know that the seat belt will protect you in an accident. In 0.001% of accidents, however, it could be better not to wear a seat belt. But you won’t say: ‘Then I won’t buckle up again.’
“The FIA will be investigating the incident closely. The system worked for decades. Such an accident happened for the first time in this form.”