Aug.11 (GMM) The issue of recovery vehicles in formula one still needs to be addressed.
That is the view of Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost, as the sport continues to reflect on the tragic death of talented French driver Jules Bianchi.
It was F1’s first race driver death since Ayrton Senna in 1994, following a long period of immense safety improvements.
But Austrian Tost said the sort of recovery vehicle that Bianchi hit at Suzuka last year remains a hazard that has not been addressed.
“The recovery vehicles themselves are still a problem,” he told Auto Bild. “Virtual safety car or not, if a car has a broken suspension or even a puncture, it can still go off.
“And with these vehicles and their height, there is always the risk of serious injuries if a car goes underneath — even at lower speeds,” Tost insisted.
“I have said with Michael Schumacher in 1994 that these things are dangerous and that they should be better protected,” he added.
“You would need a guardrail around the vehicle so that a formula one car cannot slip underneath it. Only in this way can we prevent serious head injuries like that.”
Another way, however, is for the drivers to be more vigilant, particularly with the FIA having found that Bianchi was travelling too fast for the yellow flags at the time of his crash.
Manor driver Roberto Merhi said: “I was in Hungary with the (Formula Renault 3.5) world series (in June) and a car crashed in the fastest corner.
“A tractor came out to get the car and when I saw the situation and the yellow flag I immediately drove slower. In the past, I might not have gone off the throttle,” the Spaniard admitted.