Money Over Safety

As Formula 1 prepares this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix, there was a sad ending to a storyline that started after a horrific accident at the Japanese Grand Prix last year at Suzuka.

Jules Bianchi crashed into a crane that was removing a disabled car.  The car went underneath the crane and raised questions about safety vehicles on track as they are removing cars.

One can only wonder what Jules might have accomplished had he been able to secure a seat at Ferrari.  I think with the right car and right team around him; he would have been running up front contending for podiums.

When I heard that Jules had passed, I was reminded of that dark weekend at Imola when Roland Ratzenburger and Ayrton Senna lost their lives.

Formula 1 has come so far safety wise since the accidents at Imola but it still has a ways to go.

The 2014 grand prix at Suzuka should never have been run given the weather conditions.  As I was watching the race, I was reminded of footage that I have seen of the GP in Fiji in 1976.  That race should have never been run either but, like Suzuka, Formula 1 had an obligation to the promoters, TV, etc. to run the race.

Driver safety should always be first but money speaks louder than common sense sometimes.  It had been so long since Formula 1 had a fatal accident I think that the people involved in the sport forgot about the potential risk of an accident which is dangerous complacency.

If the race was cancelled, the money lost could have been made again possibly in the future.  By running a race that risked irreplaceable human lives in poor weather conditions, the promoters, commercial rights holder, etc. made the choice that money was more important than the drivers’ lives.  They put a monetary value on a human life.

If a situation like Suzuka 2014 presents itself again, people can put aside their greed and think of the potential human cost.

Hopefully, Jules Bianchi’s passing will make everyone stop and think for a moment about ways that the sport can be made safer because Formula 1 will always be dangerous.  The crane should have never been where it was but, it all comes down to the race should have been postponed or cancelled.

A family has now lost something that money can’t buy a replacement of…a son, brother, family member.  Rest in peace Jules.

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