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Safety in F1

It is no surprise that safety has always been the number one concern of the FIA when it comes to Formula 1, however, the safety concern is now something that should expand to not only drivers but FIA workers as well.

One of the most memorable deaths that comes to mind of any Formula 1 fan is that of Ayrton Senna. In 1994, Senna suffered a crash at the Imola Circuit during the race. The injuries sustained ultimately led to his death. The death came as a shock to many and allowed for the FIA to improve their safety measures, however, this was not enough.

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Almost two decades later, a similar driver suffered the same fate as Senna. Jules Bianchi who drove for the Marussia F1 Team in 2014 collided with a recovery vehicle at the Suzuka Circuit. Bianchi passed away from the sustained injuries around nine months later. Due to this injury, the FIA decided to implement the idea of the halo for the cars. The halo is meant to protect the head of the drivers when it comes to colliding with other vehicles, which has proven to work so far.

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No matter the safety precautions that are constantly implemented, drivers are always at risk when competing during any grand prix. Last year at the Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA was under fire as many fans and drivers criticized that there was a crane on the track while drivers were still there. The crane was on the track helping remove the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. Pierre Gasly almost collided with the vehicle and if he had, he would have suffered the same consequence as Bianchi. The organization had no purpose having drivers on the track when there was a dangerous safety vehicle in the middle of the road instead of on the side.

The FIA should not only be concerned about the safety for the drivers but also for the hardworking men and women that help build their tracks and keep them safe. At the construction site of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, a construction worker suffered a fatal accident which caused him to lose his life. USA Todayreported that the man had suffered a laceration on his neck which caused him to lose his life. The race is set to happen on the weekend of Nov.16th through the 18th, meaning that there is a lot of pressure to have the track built and completed before then. Yet, the fast-paced construction is what might’ve caused the accident to happen in the first place.

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With the FIA being such a big corporation, they now need to look at the safety beyond their drivers. They do not only need to create a safe work environment for the drivers but for the workers as well, since they are the ones who are now risking their lives to provide these extravagant tracks for spectators to enjoy. There should be better strategic plans that do not involve drivers almost colliding head on to safety vehicles on the track while it is wet. There should be a better building plan so that the innocent life of a worker is not lost due to the untimely planning of the circuit. The FIA needs to invest in better safety precautions not just for them but for the fans as well.

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