One of the mild controversies to come out of the British Grand Prix was the accident involving Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. Massa, for his part, was an innocent by-stander caught in the wrong place at the wrong time but he did comment to AUTOSPORT when queried about the incident when asked if Kimi should have came back on track more cautiously:
“Kimi went outside of the track, he was fighting – I think maybe he passed a few cars at the start – and he wants to come back and not lose positions.
“He was unlucky because he was over a bump and lost his car [but] he did that because he didn’t want to lose any positions.
“When you are in free practice you back off, but when you are in the race and it’s like that you’re trying to come back as quickly as possible and that’s what he did, and he lost the car.
“When he hit the wall he just came completely into my car, I didn’t know what to do so I just turned right completely and the car went sideways and I hit him.
“I’m happy that he’s OK, I heard it was 47G. It’s amazing – I had 27G in Canada.”
The question from Sunday’s crash was regarding the run-off area and if drivers should slow down when they go wide. The traditional sense is that they should and back in the day, they didn’t have these large run-off’s so they had naturally slowed down because they were in the grass or worse.
The wide run-off areas have been the center of debate for some time with the issue of suffering no performance disadvantage for running wide off track but there is also the basic notion that a drive should carefully ease back onto the track if they go off.
It appears Kimi kept his foot in it and as he tried to fly back on track, he hit a bump that created a 47g crash. Is there an answer to this situation of run-off’s and is it solvable through regulation or is it a physical change that needs to be made to the circuits to stunt progress or reduce speed?
For several years, and still on certain circuits and location, gravel is still used but it created its own issues with one being the ability to flip a car easily when the wheels sunk into the loose gravel. Is there a better way of stunting the performance of a car that has gone deep into a run-off area? Let us know your thoughts on Sunday’s incident and what you feel might solve the issue—if you feel it is an issue at all.