Masi still satisfied Spa circuit is safe for F1

Date published: August 5 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Spa-Francorchamps, home of the Belgian Grand Prix

Following the major crash at the 24-Hour race, Michael Masi remains confident Spa is a safe enough circuit for Formula 1.

Jack Aitken and Davide Rigon ended up in hospital after a multi-car incident took place at Raidillon at the Belgian circuit during the 24-hour event on July 31-August 1.

It was not the first time there has been a major crash there in recent times, with Anthoine Hubert tragically losing his life at Spa in a Formula 2 race in 2019.

Questions have therefore started to be asked about the safety of the track, with Ferrari test driver Callum Ilott, who was competing in the 24-hour race, calling for changes to be made.

“Main thing is that everyone is out of their cars. Davide Rigon and Jack Aitken will be checked at the hospital and I hope all will be good,” he said on Twitter.

“I would also like to say there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”

FIA Formula 1 race director Masi is not concerned about the track though, feeling it is safe enough for Formula 1 to race at in its current format.

“There has been some works that have been undertaken at Spa in a number of areas, but the Spa circuit holds a current Grade 1 [the licence required for F1],” he said when asked about Ilott’s comments by motorsport.com.

“There are a few changes and improvements made year-on-year but I think the way it is, it is safe from an FIA perspective.”

Both of the injured drivers from the 24-hour race avoided extremely serious injuries, and Masi says that is ultimately what matters.

“None of us like to see big incidents and I’m just glad the drivers are relatively okay,” he said.

“I’ve seen a couple of the media reports and they (drivers) are good and healthy, which is the important part.

“They’ve got a recovery ahead of them, but that’s the overall aspect there.”

There was some work carried out at the Belgian circuit last October with gravel traps being extended and new ones being added.

Formula 1 will return there for the first grand prix back after the summer break, with the race weekend beginning on August 27.