Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

F1 drivers urge pre-race changes to stop Sainz and Ocon from hitting RaceFans

Formula 1 drivers have urged Miami Grand Prix organizers to change the type of barrier used at the corner where Carlos Sainz Jnr and Esteban Ocon crashed heavily.

Miami International Autodrome is hosting its first grand prix this weekend and the concrete barrier used at Turn 14 has become a focal point of criticism after two crashes in 24 hours.

Sainz and Ocon lost control of their cars in separate incidents at Turn 13 on Friday and Saturday and both hit the barrier at Turn 14. Ocon did so with enough force to break his chassis, causing him to prevented from participating in the qualifications.

“Carlos complained to the race director, we are all there listening to him and nothing was done,” Ocon said. “There was a discussion last night, Carlos said the impact was way too big for what it should have been and today was huge, probably the biggest shunt of my career. .

“So yesterday Carlos got injured, I got injured today too. The FIA ​​should push harder for our safety. But the important thing is that we are able to race.

His team-mate Fernando Alonso said Sainz’s crash made it clear that a different type of barrier was needed at this corner.

“We’re in the car and we know what it feels like when you hit the wall,” he said. “And Carlos was very clear yesterday that it wasn’t fair to just have the wall there, no other protection.

Gallery: 2022 Miami Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures

“So today we had another accident, same place, same angle, another driver was injured. So tomorrow we have the second chance to put something out there.

Lance Stroll said it was “ridiculous” that the corner was lined with concrete barriers instead of TecPro, a widely used alternative which absorbs impact through layers of plastic and polystyrene.

“They should just put it on,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, nobody wants to hit a concrete wall.”

The severity of the accidents has alarmed drivers, according to Sergio Perez. “We were surprised by the amount of G [force] that Carlos had in that corner,” he said. “It’s such a small accident and so many G.

“We don’t want to see this again. We want extra precautions in the future and avoid all these types of serious accidents.

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However, Perez acknowledged “I don’t think it was possible for them to do anything” given the delays between sessions, however.

Sebastian Vettel was also unsure if an immediate change was possible, but insisted it was necessary.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Ocon’s crash forced him out of qualifying

“It will still damage the car when you leave, but the question is where you land, if there is concrete or TecPro,” he said. “I don’t know what we can do overnight but when we come back, it’s important to look at all the places and see if we can improve.

“Also around the straights I think we should have SAFER walls, we shouldn’t just have these concrete blocks,” Vettel said. The Steel And Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier is widely used in American motorsport.

“Especially when we come up with circuit designs that have channels around the straights, where you can’t see,” he added. “You don’t even have to go, you can get a puncture that’s not your fault and it’s always nicer to hit something softer than harder.”

Lewis Hamilton, however, said he had no concerns about track safety as the barriers are. “When we get to these new tracks, they do their best. I think they’ve done a great job on all these new tracks in terms of safety,” he said.

“You cannot predict at every turn where we will need TecPro. But safety on the track is excellent. So I think we, of course, after an experience like this weekend, we can know that is an area where we can improve. But that’s part of the lessons we learn.

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