Contested Halo safety jersey device is being introduced next year

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Three years Justin Abdelkader Youth Jersey ago the Japanese Grand Prix came to a sombre, muted close. There were no post-race Astros Jersey celebrations Astros Authentic Jersey at Redwing Jersey Suzuka Redwing Authentic Jersey in 2014 and the crowd filed away in a hushed silence as the seriousness of Jules Bianchi’s accident sunk in across the circuit. It proved to be every bit as dreadful as everyone had feared.Bianchi had sustained a serious head injury and died as a result nine months later. His was the first on-track fatality since Ayrton Senna was killed at Imola in 1994. The sport had been dealt the harshest possible reminder that, despite the vast improvements in safety, it remained inherently dangerous. At Suzuka, three years on, it is clear the FIA is still relentlessly pursuing the goal of making F1 safer. But it is a task that requires them to strike a difficult balance and one that demands
Laurent Mekies is the FIA safety director. He was in the role when Bianchi crashed into a track-side recovery vehicle in heavy rain and vividly recalls its effect on F1. “It was a big shock,” he says. “The sport had not seen any fatalities at the top level for many, many years. We are aware it can strike at any point but it doesn’t take away the fact that when it happened it was very shocking.”
That sense of shock has not entirely dissipated, especially when returning to Suzuka but safety no longer attracts headlines and of late, when it has, the FIA has been on the receiving end of the unfavourable ones. It has faced the brickbats from drivers, fans and teams for everything from trying to regulate the danger out of the sport to ruining the aesthetics of the cars.Much of it is undeserved, although it could doubtless better communicate what it is trying to do and why it is doing it. Mekies, who was a chief engineer in F1 before joining the governing body, acknowledges it should do so but he is also insistent that behind the scenes its pursuit of improving safety is not at odds with the sport itself.
“There is not a single thing we do that is there to prevent accidents,” he says. “What we Carlos Beltran Womens Jersey do is to make sure that the guy who has an accident can walk away from it. We know accidents are part of the sport. We just want to make sure the guys can walk away afterwards.”This goal has underpinned the changes that have seen F1 move from the fatality-ridden 1970s to those 20 years without a death. The work is often not seen but has been continuing apace in the background throughout, which was still the case before Bianchi’s incident.“If you look at what the FIA had done prior to that you cannot talk about complacency,” he says.“We are pushing safety improvements – more often than not against public opinion because people forget so quickly about the potential risk. We are in the line of fire.”Of late they have publicly ventured over the parapet. Cockpit protection had been on the FIA agenda and was being researched since before Dan Wheldon was killed when he crashed at the Las Vegas Motorspeedway in 2011 and this year the FIA announced the Halo cockpit protection device would be mandatory on all cars next year. It had to impose the regulation since agreement on the device could not be reached but has won few supporters for doing so. The Halo has been proved to reduce the chance of head injuries but its aesthetics have led to condemnation. Although criminal charges were brought and a suspension cost Boban his place in Yugoslavia’s team at the 1990 World Cup finals, his gesture made him a folk hero to his fellow Croats during the bloody war that raged from 1991 to 1995, by which time he was starring for Milan and sending part of his salary back home to help the fight against Serbia.Back in Mexico City, the black-gloved fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 1968 and the raised hand of Diego Maradona in 1986 were political statements.


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