Two gigantic crashes in as many weeks have shown just how safe modern single-seater racing cars are, even low down the food chain.
First, there’s the crash you can can see above. It happened two weeks ago in an FIA European Formula 3 race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Ryan Tveter spins across the gravel at the high-speed Turn 5, coming to rest on the racing line, shrouded by a thick cloud of dust. Peter Li is fast approaching and has no idea there’s a stationary car directly in front of him.
The impact launches Li’s car a good 20 feet into the air, it corkscrews and smashes down into the gravel trap. Tveter’s car is fired forwards 50 yards or so, and Pedro Piquet gets caught up in the melee, as well.
Tveter, while seriously winded, only suffered a badly bruised knee. Li suffered four broken vertebrae and several fractures in his heel. Piquet was uninjured.
Then we have a crash that occurred during last weekend’s British Formula 3 races at Oulton Park, which you can see in the videos below. Ameya Vaidyanathan clashed with Sisa Ngebulana going through Cascades – one of the fastest corners on any British circuit – which launched Vaidyanathan into a series of high-flying cartwheels. He emerged from the wreckage unhurt.
While Li’s injuries are relatively serious, it’s remarkable everyone involved in these crashes got away as lightly as they did. Even 15 years ago the consequences would surely have been much worse. Li’s broken bones resulted from the force he was subjected to when his car hit the ground; otherwise, in all cases the Dallara and Tatuus chassis did as they are supposed to do, which is dissipate the impact by disintegrating. But, crucially, the central tub that cocoons the driver stayed intact.
By Only Motors