Formula 1 drivers have urged the FIA to look into the role the ‘sausage kerb’ design may have played in Sophia Floersch’s Macau Grand Prix crash last week.
Floersch’s car was launched through a debris fence after hitting a sausage kerb and the car of rival Sho Tsuboi. Both were injured along with three others at the scene.
A similar kerb has been installed at turn 20 at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend. But several drivers damaged their cars on it during Friday’s running. This, together with the Macau crash, prompted them to ask FIA race director Charlie Whiting to look into whether the design of the kerbs could be improved.
“We discussed the crash that happened in Macau,” explained Pierre Gasly. “In that case the sausage kerb, looking at the video, didn’t help because it just ‘airborned’ the car.
“We said that probably should look at different options than sausage kerbs because it’s the same in a couple of tracks where if you go off-track, start sliding and hit one of these kerbs it just makes you fly more than anything else.”
The kerbs are used on many tracks including the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal (pictured). They were introduced to prevent drivers cutting the inside of corners. “It stops you from going off-track,” Gasly agreed, “but in certain situations it can make things quite unsafe.”
Whiting confirmed on Thursday the FIA is investigating the possible causes of Floersch’s crash including the role the kerbs may have played.
“They say they are looking into it and they are trying to find out what’s the best solution to make sure that drivers don’t cut the track and gain any advantage but at the same time try to find the safest option,” said Gasly.
The sausage kerb installed at Yas Marina was damaged during Friday’s running and may be altered for the rest of the weekend. “They might just crop the top of it,” Gasly suggested, “because that’s also the extra height.” The kerb is 50 millimetres tall.
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