Williams: Driver safety ‘paramount’

Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Formula One has to consider bringing in enclosed cockpits to improve driver safety following the serious accident involving Jules Bianchi, says one of the bosses of the Williams team.

Autosport magazine claimed F1’s top teams rejected a move by the FIA last year to introduce closed cockpits because they felt the structures would make cars look ugly.

Claire Williams, deputy team principal of the Williams F1 team, refused to confirm if that had been rejected but said the enclosed cockpits now had to be looked at.

Speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, she said: “I can’t talk about what we discussed in our strategy group meetings. But safety is always on the agenda in Formula One.

“Enclosed cockpits aren’t easy technically for us to integrate into a Formula One car and of course they change the very nature of what a Formula One car looks like.

“We have to look at all the options available to us whether it’s an enclosed cockpit or not, but I think those conversations need to go on behind the scenes.

“Safety is always paramount so we have to find ways to ensure our drivers are as protected as possible and I don’t think the aesthetics of a Formula One car – yes they are important, they are the very fibre and DNA of Formula One – and what cars look like is important, but safety has to be paramount.”

Bianchi remains in a ”critical but stable” condition after he suffered a traumatic brain injury during a crash in last Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Frenchman, who drives for Marussia, remains on the intensive care unit at Mie General Medical Center in Japan.

Williams said safety in Formula One had moved on hugely since the death of Ayrton Senna 20 years ago.

She added: “Our sport is dangerous at times, but a lot of work has been done behind the scenes in the past 20 years since Ayrton died at Imola in ’94.

” You see a lot of accidents in Formula One where you don’t necessarily expect drivers to walk away and certainly prior to 20 years ago they wouldn’t necessarily have done so. But a lot of work has been done and they do walk away in most scenarios now.

“The FIA and the event organisers need to do a full analysis into the accident that happened on Sunday and I think everyone’s concern in our sport at the moment is with Jules and his recovery.”

Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search