Norris Advocates for Changes to Singapore F1 Kerb, Drivers’ Fear of Taking it Flat Out

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In a dramatic turn of events at the Singapore Grand Prix, Lance Stroll found himself in a precarious situation, spearing into the barriers on the exit of the final turn during Q1. The incident unfolded when Stroll attempted to correct a rear-end slide, induced by running across a troublesome kerb. As a result of this unfortunate mishap, Aston Martin has announced that the “sore” Canadian driver will not be participating in the grand prix.

However, it’s not just this one-off incident that has caught the attention of the Formula 1 community. Lando Norris, who was closely following Stroll as he bounced back onto the track, has raised concerns about the kerb’s design. According to Norris, the current generation of ground effect machinery and the characteristics of this kerb don’t seem to be a harmonious match.

In his candid assessment, the McLaren driver points out that the kerb destabilizes cars as they run across it, creating a sense of fear among drivers about the potential consequences if they maintain a flat-out approach on the throttle. Norris highlights that it’s not just about compromising lap times; it’s about safety too.

“I don’t know if they can maybe make a small improvement to the track there for next year, because it’s kind of like a bit of a dip or it’s just a bit not smooth enough,” Norris expressed. “I think everyone’s a bit afraid to do it [run flat out across it].

“There’s been quite a few instances of, as soon as you do it, you almost have to just get off the throttle and abort the lap. If you try and commit, you’re going to end up doing what Lance did.

“So just more from a safety point, I don’t think it makes the best exit kerb and is up to the standard that it should be. But yeah, that’s going to be something for next year.”

In the world of Formula 1, where milliseconds can make or break a race, drivers pushing the limits of their cars is par for the course. However, when those limits are pushed to the extent that they compromise safety, it becomes a matter of concern for everyone involved.

Norris’ observations shed light on the need for continuous improvement in track design and safety measures. The Singapore Grand Prix has always been a challenging circuit, with its tight corners and unique features, but the safety of the drivers should remain paramount.

Speaking of safety, Norris had a firsthand view of the dangers as he narrowly avoided hitting Stroll’s wrecked Aston Martin car, debris, and a bouncing wheel as he drove past the incident. Reflecting on the heart-pounding moments, he said, “I got there before any yellows or anything, so I didn’t see it or know of it until the exit of the corner.

“You kind of see the smoke as I was coming around the corner, but it was impossible to know what’s happening.

“He was still spinning and kind of coming back onto the track quite a bit, so I hit the brakes quite quickly because I didn’t know if he was going to come across a lot or what.

“Then there was just a lot of debris and a tyre, so I ducked my head just a little bit just in case.

“But the most important thing was that he got out. That was a big, big crash, and I think if you have a crash there, it’s going to be quite a nasty one.

“So, for him to get out as quickly as he did, I think was a good sign.”

In the high-speed world of Formula 1, incidents like this serve as stark reminders of the risks drivers take every time they step into their powerful machines. It’s not just about winning races; it’s about ensuring that every racer returns safely to the paddock. And when a driver like Lando Norris speaks up about safety concerns, it’s a call that the F1 community should heed. Let’s hope that the authorities take his words to heart and work towards making the Singapore Grand Prix, and all F1 races, safer for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Safety Concerns in Formula 1

What happened during the Singapore Grand Prix involving Lance Stroll?

During the Singapore Grand Prix, Lance Stroll encountered a dramatic incident. He speared into the barriers on the exit of the final turn during the Q1 session. This happened while he was trying to correct a rear-end slide that had been induced by running across a kerb. As a result of this unfortunate crash, Lance Stroll was unable to continue and was declared unfit to race.

What safety concerns were raised by Lando Norris regarding the Singapore Grand Prix track?

Lando Norris, who was right behind Lance Stroll during the incident, expressed concerns about the design of the kerb at the Singapore Grand Prix track. He believes that the characteristics of this kerb are not suitable for the current generation of ground effect machinery used in Formula 1. According to Norris, running across this kerb destabilizes the cars and makes drivers apprehensive about maintaining full throttle. He stressed that it’s not just about lap times but also about safety. Norris suggests that improvements to the track, especially this particular kerb, should be considered for the next year’s race.

How did Lando Norris narrowly avoid the accident involving Lance Stroll?

Lando Norris had a close call as he narrowly avoided colliding with Lance Stroll’s wrecked Aston Martin car, debris, and a bouncing wheel while driving past the incident. He mentioned that he approached the scene before any yellow flags or warnings, and the smoke from the crash was the first indication of trouble. Norris acted swiftly, hitting the brakes to avoid potential collision, as Stroll’s car was still spinning and returning onto the track. He also mentioned ducking his head slightly as a precaution. Fortunately, Lance Stroll was able to exit the wrecked car relatively quickly, which was a relief considering the severity of the crash.

What is the broader message behind this incident and Lando Norris’s comments?

This incident at the Singapore Grand Prix serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved in Formula 1 racing. It highlights the importance of safety not only in terms of track design but also in the execution of races. Lando Norris’s concerns about the kerb and the safety of drivers should prompt a thorough review by race organizers and authorities. The priority in Formula 1 should always be the well-being of the drivers, and incidents like this underline the need for continuous improvements in safety measures and track design to minimize the risks associated with high-speed racing.

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