F1’s Alonso would have died 20 years ago
Former FIA president, Max Mosely, has told the world’s press that Fernando Alonso is lucky to be alive after the spectacular crash during this season’s opening Formula One race in Melbourne, Australia. In a previous era, the fender bender would have almost certainly ended in a fatality.
During the race, the Spaniard’s McLaren was seen going into a barrel role at a speed of over 321kph, after Alonso clipped the Haas ‘piloted’ by Esteban Gutierrez before careening into the crash barriers and ending up as a mangled mess of scrap metal. Alonso was seen on live TV crawling out of the wreckage seemingly unharmed as he calmly took a seat next to the ex-race car, striking a pose that would seem to suggest that all that happened was a bad day at the office.
Every year, there are rule changes to Formula One designed to make the racing not only entertaining but also safer. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, there would be multiple deaths per year, sometimes in one race. But since Ayrton Senna’s untimely demise back in 1994 at Imola, there has been a tightening of the safety rules and only one driver, Frenchman Jules Bianchi, has met an untimely end since then. Jules crashed during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, and that was more to do with a crane being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Mosely presided over the world of motorsports as Chief of the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA) between 1993 and 2009, and can claim to have been responsible for many of the safety initiatives that have created a safer sport for the participants. A recent advance is the Halo device that is designed to protect driver’s heads in the event of an accident, which will be introduced before the end of the season.