Why Bahrain isn't part of Formula 1's safety crusade
Formula 1 has fought to become ever safer over the last 40 years and yet seems intent on going to Bahrain. But there is a way out, says Dieter Rencken
A substantial part of Formula 1's fascination lies in the sport's ability to manage risk. True, drivers rely on gut feel and the sensitivity of their posteriors to push their projectiles to the absolute limit with utmost confidence, but data analysis – the art of dissecting car performance in digital form – plays a major role in guiding them to their personal limits.
Back at base, physics, chemistry and computer science combine to calculate the strength of materials, enabling engineers to manage the risk of component failure; research into rubber, polymers and composites enables Pirelli to reduce the risk – last year to absolute zero – of tyre failure, and various failsafe systems, ranging from bag tanks to deformable structures ensure the safety of F1's energy installations, whether fuel or electric – the latter including, of course, KERS.
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