Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa raised his voice against the safety standards in IndyCar which has sparked a debate among the drivers and fans.
The grand prix winner while praising the Halo which averted a possible injury for Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, said the walls and catch fences on a circuit like Pocono is dangerous for race car drivers after the big crash of Robert Wickens.
The Canadian is safe in hospital being treated for multiple injuries. At the same time, last weekend, a first corner incident in Belgian GP could have resulted in a major consequence if not for the Halo as per the driver.
“When you see all the accidents that happens in F1 and IndyCar in the last years we can say that F1 is always trying to improve with (HALO, Track Changes, virtual safety car etc to improve safety) and IndyCar is not doing much,” he wrote.
“It’s unbelievable to see a circuit like Pocono [where] average speed [is] around 360km and you see the walls lower like that with the fences, so-so dangerous for the safety. Sorry to say that, but they need to look for safety of the drivers.”
Following Massa’s assessment, several of the IndyCar drivers – present and former – responded critically to the Brazilian’s remark defending the safety measures taken by the organisers to decrease injuries or fatality.
Graham Rahal said: “Let’s also not forget the HUGE impact that Indycar and our doctors such as Dr. Trammel have had on F1. In fact, last I checked when many of them get injured they STILL come to the US to see Dr. T. IndyCar has done a hell of a lot for international motorsports safety!”
Dario Franchitti: “I disagree Felipe, IndyCar has worked very hard and continues to do so. That being said all series need to keep pushing to make racing safer.” To which Massa has already responded:
“Brother sorry to say, but the work need to be harder from IndyCar on safety improvements. If you see how many drivers got hurt in the last years, very little changes have been done to improve. I hope things improve in the right way for the safety of the drivers.”
Michael Andretti: “I have to disagree with you [Felipe] on this, IndyCar is doing a lot of research in this area. They want to make sure it 100 percent before they implement.”
Yet another classic case of speaking before thinking… https://t.co/hKl04l1uuV
— Alexander Rossi (@AlexanderRossi) August 28, 2018
With all due respect this is a very blinkered & inaccurate assessment. #indycar has safer barrier, in ear sensors, dedicated safety team, improved side impact protection, teathers on all major parts etc & chassis that allowed a driver to survive level of impact we saw at Pocono https://t.co/GO0efqtIUd
— Chris Beatty (@ChrisDuffBeatty) August 27, 2018
After the FIA introduced the Halo in all the series run under its arm, IndyCar, at the same time, is testing its own version of cockpit safety device named ‘Windscreen’. Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden are the only ones to have tested it so far.