F1 »

Massa: Wheldon, Simoncelli a wake-up call

Felipe Massa says recent incidents on track should serve as a reminder of the dangers of motorsport
Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa has said that the recent fatal accidents suffered by Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli have served as a reminder of the danger involved in top level motorsport.

Wheldon lost his life in a multi-car accident during the IndyCar Series season finale in Las Vegas before Simoncelli was then killed in a horrific accident during the Malaysian MotoGP race at Sepang over the course of the weekend.

Massa himself was lucky to escape with his life after being hit by a bolt that had come away from the Brawn GP car of Rubens Barrichello during the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix and the Brazilian admitted he was shocked at recent events which have robbed motorsport of two of its biggest names.

“At the moment all my thoughts are with the families and friends of Marco Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon,” he said. “It seems that when bad things happen, they come all at once. Because of the time difference between Malaysia and Brazil, I found out about the MotoGP accident as soon as I woke up on Sunday morning when I was at home in Sao Paulo. It is unbelievable and I was in a state of shock afterwards.

“Simoncelli was such a nice guy and one of the characters in the sport of motorcycle racing and a great talent. Coming so soon after the death of Dan Wheldon, who was a friend of mine, these have been really difficult times and it is just unbelievable that these sad events happened just one week apart. Of course, those of us who race, we always know the risk is there, every time you go out on track. When you are racing, you do not think so much about the risks and you always push hard, sometimes too hard. But all the same, it is still a terrible shock when you see something like that and it reminds you the risk is there.”

Massa added that, while he isn't in a position to talk at length about Simoncelli's accident given his lack of experience of two-wheeled competition, Wheldon's death should become a catalyst for improved safety in IndyCar racing in much the same way at the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at Imola back in 1994 shaped the future direction of F1 safety.

“I am not qualified to talk about Simoncelli's accident, because I have no experience of bike racing, but in the case of Dan's crash, hopefully the only good thing to come out of it could be that it serves as a wake-up call for Indy cars to improve their safety levels, in the same way that what happened in Imola in '94 led to increased safety in F1,” he said. “In my opinion, Indy needs to do a lot to improve safety. There is no point in people complaining about it and blaming others, because what is needed now is some calm analysis and then a response from the sport's organisation.

“Maybe what Indy needs to start with, given the type of circuit and the number of cars would be to try running cars with enclosed cockpits, but this is just one idea and the whole safety package needs to be looked at completely.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simoncelli, Malaysian MotoGP 2011
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Taz - Unregistered

October 26, 2011 12:11 AM

@P Smith "What might have prevented it is driver retraining" Utter cr4p, for one he was a rider not a driver and a bl00dy talented one, no training could have prevented that accident. Please don't comment if you don't understand the sport.

The Oracle - Unregistered

October 25, 2011 9:01 PM

@P Smith. You can never train or legislate for instinct. There are too many examples of bike riders "saving" front-end slides, high-sides and even collisions. Rossi "saved" his tragic collision with Marco through instinct. As for Wheldon, well they're competing with the same TV audience as NASCAR (wheel to wheel, multiple lead changes and TV piles-ups. So where do you want to start since this is all about TV money and "entertainment".



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.