Andrea de Cesaris, Brabham, Silverstone, 1987

Former driver Andrea de Cesaris dies after accident

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Andrea de Cesaris, Brabham, Silverstone, 1987In the round-up: Andrea de Cesaris, one of the most experienced F1 drivers ever, has died at the age of 55.


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Andrea De Cesaris: Italian former Formula 1 driver dies aged 55 (BBC)

“Former Formula 1 driver Andrea De Cesaris has died at the age of 55. The Italian was killed in a motorbike accident in Rome, the official F1 website confirmed. He started 208 races in his Formula 1 career between 1980 and 1994, but never won a Grand Prix, a record for the most races without a win.”

Lauda says FIA did nothing wrong in Japan (Autosport)

Niki Lauda: “You cannot say anything was done wrong. It was started in the most sensible way and this is what they did. But they could have started earlier. There is no question about it. It was foreseeable, we could have started the race at 1pm.”

Jackie Stewart defends F1 safety record despite Suzuka accident (Mirror)

Stewart: “It’s 20 years five months and four days since anyone lost their life. No other sport, be it equestrian, rugby, mountain climbing or motorcycling, has a package of measures better than F1. However in the back of every ticket it says motor racing is dangerous and there will be incident where there is a slip or an extaordinary set of circumstances.”

What lessons can F1 learn from Japan crash? (BBC)

“The inquest into what went wrong, and how such an incident can be avoided in the future, has already started, and it will be long and detailed. Although there was a lot of debate over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend about the timing of the race, with typhoon Phanfone approaching the mainland, the fact it was wet was only a circumstantial factor.”

Jules Bianchi crash: Five questions (Telegraph)

“Why was Bianchi taken in an ambulance, not a helicopter? Unfortunately, the FIA were unable to fully answer this question, but it seemed to be a combination of the weather and the fact that there was nowhere to land at the Mie General Hospital, less than 10 miles away.”

Rosberg: Hamilton deserved to win at Suzuka (NBC)

Nico Rosberg: “I struggled a lot with the balance of my car on the intermediate tires, so I had to push hard to keep Lewis behind me. I had a lot of oversteering which is why the rear end of my car was very nervous. It meant that Lewis was quicker today and deserved the win.”

Power failure caused retirement – Alonso (ESPN)

Fernando Alonso: “My car switched down the power, I don’t know what happened. The electricity went, maybe some water in to some connectors or something and it switched off the car completely and it was impossible to start again.”

Ron Dennis denies that McLaren have already signed Fernando Alonso for 2015 (Sky)

Dennis: “None of our drivers are signed for 2015. We want the most competitive drivers available and I’ve talked to every driver at the top-end of the pitlane.”


Comment of the day

After one of the darkest days for Formula 1 in recent memory, @Pjsqueak offers some considered words of reflection.

A while ago after Kimi’s crash Lauda was wondering whether it was worth delaying the race for the barrier to be fixed. His thinking was that nobody else would go off *there*. Maybe we need more safety first, perhaps yellow flags should mean pit lane speeds.

As well as wishing that Jules can recover from this incident I hope that F1 can review safety to make sure this does not happen again.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

A crash which claimed the life of Helmuth Koinigg at the United States Grand Prix 40 years ago today cast a shadow over a three-way scrap for the championship which was won by Emerson Fittipaldi.

The Lotus driver which fourth but neither race winner Carlos Reutemann nor podium finishers Carlos Pace and James Hunt were among Fittipaldi’s rivals for the title.

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  • 44 comments on “Former driver Andrea de Cesaris dies after accident”

    1. Tough day for the sport.

    2. Although we all want the drivers to be safe and it was a horrible accident, I hope that the FIA dont go overboard and add a load of new over the top safely measures because of this one accident. Of course, if there is a simple way of avoiding this in the future, then thats great… but what I dont want to see are endless safety cars coming out every 5 laps for minor incidents in the future.

      1. How overboard can you go when it comes to peoples lives? Until the end of the season when they can do soemthing like a pit limiter on the car expect to see the safety car or even a red flag for the tiniest bit of debris. Charlie whiting will go overboard now, he wont want another incident this season if he can avoid it.

        1. How overboard? Well, you can not go racing at all if the lives of the drivers is the only priority. There has to be a balance here.

          The main issue to be addressed for me is that tractors with no modifications should not be on a race circuit. Brundle has talked about a car going under a tractor for years, and it nearly happened in 2007 I think ironically with Sutil I seem to remember.

          This is the main issue. A crash structure around the base of the tractor would have avoided this terrible situation for Bianchi. Let’s hope that is in place for the next race, not safety cars brought out when there is a mild level of risk.

          1. Actually, I don’t think this is the main issue.

            We see accidents all the time in F1. Because of fantastic safety regulations, they rarely result in anything more than very minor injuries.

            In this case, we have had a freak situation where one car has crashed at the same place while work was being done to clear away the last one. I have not seen this happen for a very long time.

            That is not to say we don’t need to do something about it. It is unacceptable for anyone to be injure this much. However, I think too many people are focussing on the tractor. Yes, I think that you are probably right that there should be a crash structure around to stop this happening, or some other measures to prevent it. However, the most vulnerable people in this situation were actually the marshals. They were working to clear the car away, and it is an absolute miracle that we didn’t have several marshals killed outright.

            This is actually complicated by the fact that I don’t think it seemed necessary to bring the safety car out. We certainly can’t go to a situation where marshals on track immediately bring out the safety car. Even so, we saw a car spinning under the safety car earlier.

            This is not an easy issue to deal with. I do think the FIA should have the power to say “it is now wet-tyre weather, you have 3 laps to comply”. I also believe an on-track intelligent speed limiter would be a good idea for yellow flags. The crash structure is a good idea. But I don’t think any of these will totally negate these risks.

            There will be a lot of pressure on the FIA to do something about this, and rightly so. I hope it does not turn out to be a knee jerk reaction which degrades our sport even further (although, given recent form, I expect it will be).

            1. You’re right about the marshals. As horrific as Bianchi’s crash was and how concerned we all are about him, I still can’t believe no marshal was injured or killed. I think it’s easy to forget that over the last 15 years or so it has seemed that it’s more dangerous to be a marshal than a driver, unfortunately.

            2. I wholeheartedly agree with the on-track limiter idea. I feel they have the technology (standard ECU) and implementing this could even eliminate the need for a safety car, meaning in certain circumstances when the drivers are clear of the incident itself, higher speeds (which keep tyre and brake temperatures up) could be employed. The flip side is that a lead built up by a driver is not eradicated as soon as a safety car is deployed, the vehicles could maintain a relative distance

              Having said the above, I feel yesterday we were lucky to have thus far escaped a fatality to either marshall or driver and like everyone here I will be hoping for good news on Jules as soon as possible.

            3. It wasn’t exactly a freak coincidence that Sutil and Bianchi crashed in the same place: they both lost control of their cars in the same puddle and the same bad light and conditions. And perhaps the race directors should take into account when they’re making part of the track that’s just caused a crash more dangerous by putting heavy equipment in it.

            4. I think that only in case of rain conditions and if it is necessary to use the tractor to remove a car then the SC must be deployed. Something similar happen in Brazil (don’t remember year) where after the first car went out and marshals were trying to remove it other cars went out at the same place and even hit the first one.

      2. I agree with you – I don’t want to see any kneejerk measures, e.g. yellow flag = safety car but there will be and should be better procedures about retrieving cars with tractors.

    3. “No other sport, be it equestrian, rugby, mountain climbing or motorcycling, has a package of measures better than F1.”

      That isn’t really a valid comparison though. F1 is more akin to a division of a sport (that being motorsport or single-seater circuit racing) than a sport itself.

      1. I would say that its misleading for other reasons as well, because if we take the centence right before that one

        It’s 20 years five months and four days since anyone lost their life

        than either it is missing something (specifying that no driver has died as an immediate result of an on track accident) or it means Steward is being ignorant. Because only all too recently we had the sad loss of a Marshall who was overran by a vehicle clearing a car in Canada. Showing that these procedures (when to clear what, flags around it personell around it) might well need a rethink @matt90

        1. @bascb , @matt90 – A bit surprising coming from Sir Jackie as one of the biggest and earliest proponents for safety in F1. I agree with him that risk management has been massively improved and especially since his days as a driver. But, there is always more room for improvement.

          Also agree that minimizing the deaths of a marshal or practice driver does nothing to enhance F1’s safety record and is a bit disrespectful.

          Brundle’s accident in 1994 was certainly a precursor to this incident and yet nothing changed in 20 years. Spectators used to stand on the course and that is no longer part of F1. Surely there is a way to keep F1 cars and heavy tractors apart.

          1. Yep, its not as if they aren’t trying, but as always with almost everything we do, when we solve one thing, we find that other things need looking into as well.

            Not sure how best to solve it, but as with the studies into head protection, I think it makes huge sense to evaluate options (behind barriers, have some kind of protective skirt/cushion, whatever) and improve the solutions already in place because while safety is undoubtably far better than it ever was, that is no reason to stop improving further.

            1. I love the hindsight here, many that comemnt were blasting FIA for not starting quick enough and know you expect them to stop it. It is so easy being judge after the fact.

            2. True dan but when the sauber went off & the tractor wondered on i said to my mate ‘ if one car can aquaplane off their then so can another, those marshals should not be out there’

              So it was pretty easy to predict. Cars do not fly off the road for reason. There is always a cause so if one comes off there is infact a higher chance that another will in the same place. This has been on the cards for years and frankly not a surprise to anyone thats watched for a long time.

              Marshals need to be protected. They need to be paid and they beed to responsible & accountable for their performance. F1 & FIA is letting them down, its easy to blame them and they are at times led into stupidly dangerous positions (like germany this year, Germany 07, Germany) but thats down to poor leadership.

              The problem is even worse in motorcycling when everyone seemed to say ‘wow’ to marquez bike missing 4 marshals by meters moments after Cal crashed. Everyone should of been shocked and silverstone should of been punished for such stupid actions.

              F1 will bury its head in the sand and blame the weather. But there was very few crashes in that race so the weather was good for racing.

          2. Agreed on the marshals, not just in F1 but at all levels of motorsport. They put there lives at risk to help protect spectators and drivers, often its done for no financial reward.

            I can recall a few incidents where marshals were killed by debris from a crash, the Italian grand prix in 2000 and the Australian grand prix in 2001.

            I think this event has highlighted that marshal safety both on and off track is an area that needs to be addressed.

    4. Hope a way can be found to keep F1 cars and heavy tractors apart. F1 is so much safer than when I first started watching (1960s), but there is still room for improvement.

    5. The tractor probably should not be there without a SC but in that very same day a car has aquaplaned behind the SC so it looks like a big misfortune. Maybe in the future such tough structures should be equipped with shock absorbing material to prevent serious injuries from eventual incidents like Bianchi one.

      1. Perhaps they should have more large fixed cranes in place at obivous potential crash points. That would (hopefully) negate the need to deploy crane/tractors onto the circuit.

    6. Perhaps we need bigger cranes lifting the cars over the barrier without actually going on the track…..

      1. Exactly my thoughts.

      2. Apparently that corner backs onto 180R, and hence a crane cannot physically live in the small space between 180R and Dunlop corner, hence why they have a tractor.
        Unfortunately there isn’t 1 answer to every corner, at every circuit, in every country. The answer is a raft of changes that need to be implemented to avoid situations like this, and it not only needs to consider what money can be thrown at it, but, in the instance of a track in countries where perhaps economies aren’t as flush with money as some of the G20 economies, other alternatives need to be available as well.

      3. Then we would need dozens of cranes or another heavy duty perimeter track around both sides of the circuit.

      4. Sometimes, something as simple as having these Solid, Metal cranes surrounded by Tyres, Like the barriers, sort of a “camouflage” could make a difference. They are unavoidable on the track, moving obstacles. Make them obviously capable goat least absorb and defect some of the impact force!

    7. Key words from Ron, “none of OUR drivers are signed for 2015” well played Ron.

    8. Formula-I (@)
      6th October 2014, 7:48

      one of the darkest weekend in modern f1

    9. ColdFly F1 (@)
      6th October 2014, 8:11

      I understand all the calls for more safety measures, and the FIA should learn from these events.

      But cranes and ‘padded’ recovery trucks do nothing to help the safety of (volunteer) marshals on track.
      And also behind a SC an F1 car can aquaplane and crash in the same spot as the previous car.

      If you want to make F1 racing 100% safe then better stop racing altogether, and stop working in the garages with flammable materials and high voltage ERS systems, etc.
      Therefore, it will always be a trade-off between racing and safety.
      IMHO the only way forward is to get all the F1 drivers together and ask them what they see as the right trade-off (and similarly ask the marshals regarding their job).

    10. ReL COTD.
      That thought also crossed my mind after seeing the Bianchi accident.
      But the nature of Kimi’s accident was entirely unique. His accident had several components to it. Veering to the right going over grass and a ditch, powering through all that and rejoining the track at speed and losing control and hitting the barrier on the right bouncing back onto the track getting clobbered by an unsighted Massa and Hitting the other side od the guard rail.

      Note, the above sequence may not be in the exact order it hapened.

      So the guard rail being repaired though important, was less likely to have another impact unlike that section Sutil crashed into.

      Nevertheless it was still good to try fix it.

      1. I think in both of these incidents a section of portable tyre wall would have been very effective, more so with Kimis incident as the exact location to place it was small and obvious, but a crane could place 2 sections sequentially between itself and the track or quickly place a section on the danger side of a stranded car and leave recovery till the race finishes.

    11. As one of the longer standing F1 fans on this site, I was sadened to hear the passing of de Cesaris. I will always know him by his alter ego de Crasherus, however, Andreas on his day was absolutely brilliant.
      While I can’t say that I have any vivid memories of de Cesaris, it is still sad to hear the passing of any ex-F1 driver, famous or not. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP Andreas.

      1. Indeed, further sad proof that life itself can be more dangerous than F1.

        1. Motorcycles will never be safe, and that’s a part of the reason bikers love them. Sad to hear of another fatality though, Cesaris always seemed to be a good bloke.

    12. My heart is very heavy at the moment, and while I respect the wishes of Bianchi’s family, and think that the press should as well, I personally am just hanging out to understand the extent of his injuries. Not from any morbid necessity, but rather, from a perspective that having met him in Melbourne earlier this year, I feel a certain amount of attachment, which is of course by no means greater than his close friends, family, or team.
      It is just a helpless feeling of not knowing, and the level of mystery that surrounds it, is just difficult to grapple with. Ultimately, I just want to hear the words “he’s got serious injuries, but he’ll be alright in time. Until we receive some futher updates, I will hang in there, and wait patiently.
      I suspect that I’m not alone with these thoughts on this forum, as I know alot of you are sharing the same anxiety, but I think writing about it, and sharing your thoughts with like minded fans, helps… So, I guess I open up and see if others follow.

    13. Formula-I (@)
      6th October 2014, 9:08

      I really never expect a crash as worse as this in a modern F1 (as I mentioned in my comment) I also see how the sport was in 1980s and 1970s. FIA should expect these things happening, I mean even FIA motto is safety and with the current technologies and Material, they should make safer cars and its proven several times this season (Raikkonen in Silverstone, Massa and Perez in Canada, Gutierrez in Bahrain) and Bianchi crash. I just hope they find the best solution to improve safety on next couple of years

    14. Have to agree with Stewart there, it was a freak set of circumstances. The incident reminds me a little of incidents in aviation: there are a number of factors that in itself would be harmless, but in combination it can prove deadly. In Bianchi’s case: the rain made the track slippery; two cars happened to crash in exactly the same manner; the tractor happened to be in the exact place and orientation that would make impact with it very dangerous; Bianchi happened to hit it in exactly the wrong way; the helicopter could not take him to the nearest hospital.

      But returning to Stewart, if F1 would try to seal every little hole out of safety concerns, we would end up with a very bland sport, imo. Perhaps it can be re-evaluated whether recovery vehicles are allowed in front of the barriers when there’s no SC, but throwing in a safety car for every little thing is not an option (IndyCar does that, and it messes up the flow of the race, imo). Motor racing is dangerous, and sadly it takes incidents like this to remind us of it.

      1. Also, thanks F1F for not running the ‘rate the race’ article yesterday.

    15. Number one ,I offer my prayers for a speedy and complete recovery to Jules Bianchi .

      Number two no need to change the rules .Follow the following 4 steps in order.
      .1 Show yellow flags
      .2 Transmit to the drivers a warning , making them aware of the accident and its location.
      .3 Bring the mobile crane out.
      .4 Remove the car


    16. In hindsight it would have been safer to leave Sutil’s car where it was. Hitting it would have been far less detrimental than a steel tractor. I think the point made that the marshals were lucky to have not been hit is a good one. I also think the point about not going overboard with solutions is a good one too.

      I think it was @slowhand who said yesterday the solution has to be one that is automatic and takes any human judgement out of the equation. I think that any time there are marshals and/or equipment dealing with a disabled car, as has been suggested by others regarding a rule change in WEC, there should be an automatic zone where one must use the pit lane limiter until one is past the situation in question. This might even eliminate the need for a safety car in many situations. If a medical vehicle(s) is needed, perhaps they should red flag the race and line up in the pit lane as they did yesterday.

      The problem yesterday was that the rules allowed for Bianchi to still be carrying enough speed to aquaplane in spite of double yellow flags being out. If he was going at the speed of the pit lane limit, even if he somehow still lost control of the car, the spin would have been at very low speed and any contact with anything very very likely harmless. His car would likely not even have reached the tractor let alone hit it with such force.

    17. This has no relevance to anything in the roundup today, but I’ve just read it in Der Spiegel and it made my jaw drop a bit.
      “Italy’s managers and company-owning families, meanwhile, have padded their wallets, both legally and illegally. Fired Ferrari head Luca di Montezemolo was given a €27 million farewell.”
      Twenty seven million . . .

      1. I think it is not that unusual for company VIPs to have contingencies written into their contracts for this type of thing. But I didn’t think LdM was literally fired, but rather was ‘stepping down’ or was ‘offered a severance.’ ie. this 27 mill does not surprise me at all. The 27 is likely a contracted, agreed upon amount that legally has to be paid to him.

    18. On a different note…..

      RIP Andrea de Cesaris. He was around when I first started watching F1 in 1985, though he didn’t race in Adelaide (my home) that year as Guy Ligier fired him after his small off during the Austrian GP.

      Little known fact about Andrea….he actually finished 3rd behind Roberto Moreno (winner) and Keke Rosberg in the 1984 Australian Grand Prix driving a Ford BDA powered Ralt RT4 Formula Pacific (of the 25 car field, 18 were RT4’s). He started the race almost a lap behind having entered the pits at the end of the warm up lap and came out before the race started. For the next 100 laps he kept his nose clean (where others such as Niki Lauda crashed) and finished 3rd. This was the last AGP to date not to be run as part of the F World Championship.

      Andrea was a very good driver, though unfortunately he often lived up to his “de Crasheris” nickname and it hurt his later career in terms of competitive drives.

      Not a World Champion, not a Grands Prix race winner, but an unforgettable driver in his own right.

      RIP Andrea de Cesaris.

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