APRIL 5, 2002
The FIA studies F1 safety figures
THE FIA has just issued a report on safety in Grand Prix racing between 1963-2001 which has been conducted for the federation by its Circuits and Safety Department. The survey details not only the developments of the Formula 1 cars but also the corresponding increase in the number of race incidents. However the development of safety has contained the consequences of these accidents. They concluded that there have been 1813 accidents in races in that period which have claimed the lives of 17 drivers but the majority of these (15 drivers) died before 1982. The interesting thing is that the number of accidents before 1982 was estimated to be 668 while since then the crashes have increased to 1145.
In terms of officials and spectators the sport has claimed only 10 lives since 1963 (four officials and six spectators). The spectators were all killed in the period 1973-1977 when there were two serious accidents involving cars going over barriers while the four officials include the two killed in the last two seasons.
It is not clear why the FIA has decided to issue the report at this point but it may be that FIA President Max Mosley intends the use the report and a forthcoming press conference at Imola to publicize the success of the sport in terms of safety.