Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Glass Ceilings

By Simon

The issue of enclosed cockpits came up again at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after Nico Rosberg and Narain Karthikeyan crashed. See the film below.

I hope that enclosed cockpits don’t get introduced. They just give me the willies. I’ll admit that when I raced I would have a panic attack at the thought of rolling over in a gravel trap (and still do). I think sheer will prevented that happening on a couple of occasions. But the idea of rolling over with enclosed cockpit freaks me out even more. The last thing I’d want is to be upside down or have something on top of me and have my only means of escape blocked. At least with an open cockpit, you have some wiggle room for escape.

The interesting point made over the weekend in the light of this crash is that someone mentioned maybe it was a good idea to ask the drivers their feelings towards enclosed cockpits. Now there's a novelty.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Motor racing is a dangerous sport and it can’t be made bulletproof. Crashes are inevitable and crashes are curious animals in themselves. Cars can have all the safety systems in the world, but when the tires and wings have been sheared off, a racecar becomes an exercise in Newtonian physics—where a racecar in motion will remain in motion until an opposing force (usually in the form of a crash barrier) is imposed on it.

I’m all for safety and I’m willing to be open-minded, but kneejerk solutions are rarely the correct ones. The quest continues…

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