Masi insists Spa is safe for F1 following high-speed GT3 crash

FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate Michael Masi remains confident that the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is safe following a major accident in last weekend’s Spa 24 Hours.

Jack Aitken and Davide Rigon were both hospitalised after a multi-car accident at Raidillon, the high-speed section at the top of the hill after the Eau Rouge lefthander.

Williams reserve driver Aitken was more seriously hurt of the two, suffering fractures to his collarbone and a vertebra. He will be allowed to return to the UK on Thursday to continue his recovery.

The incident involved a high-speed collision, and thus bore some similarity to the crash in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 race at the same spot that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert and left Juan Manuel Correa with serious injuries.

As such, it has re-ignited the debate about safety at that part of the Belgian GP venue, where approaching drivers often have little time to react if another car has rebounded off a barrier.

Shortly after last weekend’s accident, Alfa Romeo reserve driver Callum Ilott, who was competing in the 24 hour event, suggested on Twitter that changes should be made.

“Main thing is that everyone is out of their cars,” wrote Ilott. “Davide Rigon and Jack Aitken and will be checked at the hospital and I hope all will be good.

“I would also like to say that there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”

#114 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo: Arthur Rougier, Konsta Lappalainen, Jack Aitken

#114 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo: Arthur Rougier, Konsta Lappalainen, Jack Aitken

Photo by: SRO

Last October, Spa announced an €80m upgrade programme, with new or extended gravel traps at several corners, including Raidillon, in part to satisfy the requirements of the FIM for bike racing.

Asked about Ilott’s comments by Motorsport.com given that Spa is the next venue on the F1 calendar, Masi maintained that the circuit is fully licensed by the FIA.

“There has been some works that have been undertaken at Spa in a number of areas,” said Masi. “But the Spa circuit holds a current Grade 1 [the FIA licence required for F1 use.]

“There are a few changes and improvements that made year-on-year, but I think the way that it is, it is safe from an FIA perspective.

“None of us like to see big incidents, and I’m just glad that the drivers are relatively okay. I’ve seen a couple of the media reports today and they are good and healthy which is the important part. They’ve got a recovery ahead of them, but that is the overall aspect there.”

shares
comments

Related video

Wolff: Bottas Hungary crash won’t influence 2022 F1 driver decision
Previous article

Wolff: Bottas Hungary crash won’t influence 2022 F1 driver decision

Next article

Alpine pitwall realised Ocon would win with three laps to go

Alpine pitwall realised Ocon would win with three laps to go
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021