GPDA questions sausage kerbs after Austin injuries

Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and George Russell have expressed concerns about sausage kerbs after support race incidents in Austin left two drivers with back injuries.

GPDA questions sausage kerbs after Austin injuries
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W Series contender Abbie Eaton and F4 driver Christian Weir both suffered compression fractures after their cars took off over sausage kerbs.

Their incidents were among several that led to the kerbs on the exit of Turn 2 being removed for the Grand Prix itself.

That in turn helped to trigger controversy in the F1 event itself, when Kimi Raikkonen was able to run wide and pass Fernando Alonso where the kerbs were no longer in place.

While track limits continue to be a regular topic of conversation GPDA directors Vettel and Russell say the support race incidents in Austin and at other venues have triggered a debate about the kerbs.

“I think the thing is that we have to take these sausage kerbs off, because we had two injuries that were unnecessary,” said Vettel when asked by Motorsport.com about Austin's incidents.

“And I'd rather have an endless conversation about track limits, and maybe one time you're unhappy, another time you're happy.

“I think we can find solutions to that. But the main thing is that we find a solution to broken backs, which is taking off these sausage kerbs.”

Russell confirmed that the GPDA is keen to discuss the subject.

“Globally, this is something F1 and the FIA really need to look into because we saw another pretty dangerous incident in Formula Regional I think it was in Monza,” he said when quizzed by Motorsport.com.

“So it's something the GPDA are sort of really pushing hard with the FIA to make improvements. I don't know what the exact injuries were of these drivers, but if somebody fractured their back this is unacceptable from such a simple off.

“I mean, we want to live in a perfect world, but unfortunately that doesn't exist. The kerbs are put there to try and limit the track limits, but if it comes at the expense of injuries, potential life-changing injuries, then that's unacceptable.

“So there needs to be a better solution - not even a better compromise, just a solution that is not dangerous.”

Kerbs at Turn 1 in Mexico City was removed ahead of last weekend’s Grand Prix, but FIA F1 race director Michael Masi stressed that each case has to be considered individually.

“Our safety department investigates all sorts of incidents like that,” he said.

“It’s a case-by-case, so the rest of the year we will look at them case-by-case, where they are. The one at Turn 8 was a very simple one, because of the speed of the corner and so forth.

“Having a look at the configuration of Turn 1/2, and the way it’s grass and everything else, it was determined to remove them, and that is what happened on Thursday.

“I think you need to consider everything on a case-by-case basis, as we have always said. They are all very different styles, in Austin versus what we had here, two completely different beasts.

“So we just need to look at them on a case-by-case, where they are, how it works, and look at the whole scenario.”

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