Drivers Call For Changes To Eau Rouge-Raidillon After Horror W Series Crash – WTF1

Drivers Call For Changes To Eau Rouge-Raidillon After Horror W Series Crash

After yesterday’s scary incident involving six W Series drivers at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, several big names in the sport have come forward calling for changes to be made to Eau Rouge and Raidillon.

Fortunately, all drivers involved in the shunt are ‘ok’ and have had all the necessary checks. A few hours after the accident, Ayla Agren was discharged from the local hospital, with Beitske Visser having a CT scan and a leg X-ray, which came back with no fractures. She’s since travelled back to the team hotel to rest.

Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most-loved circuits in the world. However, in recent years the number of accidents that have had serious consequences at Eau Rouge and Raidillon is significant. With the passing of Anthoine Hubert in 2019, questions about the safety of the corner have come into question.

F2’s Guanyu Zhou, who currently sits P2 in the drivers’ championship, tweeted yesterday, stressing that things had to change at the iconic corner. Joining him in his concerns with Pietro Fittipaldi, who broke both his legs during an accident in qualifying for the 2018 WEC round at Spa at that very same corner.

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver, has spoken out countless times about his thoughts of Eau Rouge. After the Spa 24 Hours crash, he tweeted, “there needs to be a change at this corner, and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”

The problem is not the corner itself but the barriers that surround it.

As Ilott highlights in response to a tweet from Kevin Estre, “the two accidents recently have been caused by cars bouncing back in from the barrier on the left.”

However, changes are on the way.

With plans to host international motorcycle racing from next year, the circuit pledged €80 million to make changes and modifications to the circuit over the next ten years.

In order to host these big motorcycle events, the circuit has to meet the strict safety requirements that the FIM has in place. These include enlarging the corners and adding gravel traps at several corners: Raidillon, La Source, Blanchimont, Stavelot and Les Combes.

What are your thoughts on Eau Rouge and Raidillon?

18 thoughts on “Drivers Call For Changes To Eau Rouge-Raidillon After Horror W Series Crash

  • All motor racing drivers know the risks ..

    I’m in favor of leaving the corner as it is ..
    Freak accidents happen, live with it (race in Nascar), or find a desk job

    • Levitikan Fincham says:

      Freak accidents do happen yes, but when severe accidents keep happening at 1 corner across multiple series it can no longer be called a freak accident as it has become a recurring problem

    • Darron Hansen says:

      Leave the racing surface as it is, but the barriers and off track areas need to be changed. As Callum Ilott pointed out, the angle of the barrier bounces cars back onto the track. Making a single car crash into a multi car crash.

      • Yes indeed .. I’m all in favor of safety, my answer should have been more specific with those safety changes in mind .. The corner itself should remain unchanged ..

  • Eau Rouge is the essence of old school racing. What next, air bags for crashes? No one wants to see people injured but drivers know the risk when they take up the sport.

    • Speedy_Gonzalas says:

      I’ll repeat what I said to Joe3 “what is wrong with adding safer barriers and gravel run offs? it doesn’t change the race course, and adds to driver safety.”

      • No it won’t change the track but it will change the drivers view of the risks. If there’s a run off area any racer will push harder knowing there’s a buffer zone so will live to see another day.

        • Darron Hansen says:

          That’s what they drivers are already doing… Pushing harder because it’s all just pavement off the track. That’s why it’s so dangerous. They know that if they go a little bit off line, they just get a “track limits” warning. If it were grass or gravel off the racing surface, they would put more effort into staying on the racing surface, forcing them to slow down a bit to make the corner.

          Kevin Estre described it pretty well.

          • Thing it grass and gravel make things more dangerous for drivers. You go side ways in to gravel at 200mph your going to roll go 200 mph over grass your not going to loose any speed and hit the barriers and stupid speeds all of which increases the risk to the driver that’s why all modern tracks have run off areas

  • I see the old “they know the risks” comments. Yes, every driver does, but proposing safety changes such as moving or modify retaining walls, off track surface alterations, etc are not at all out of line. What make racing safer often makes racing faster…..

  • Olivier Locatelli says:

    The real question is not the accident itself. The real question is : why did we have 6 cars slipping out in the right hand corner one after the other ?? Am I the only one to wonder why ??

    • I think they were sent out on a dry track with slick tires thinking it would stay dry for one flying lap when instead, it had started to rain already

  • No one wants to see anyone getting hurt in motorsport but that’s the risks drivers and riders are willing to take. Make the corners safe drivers and riders will take greater risks. Offer any racer a car that will be 2 seconds a lap quicker but there’s a grater chance of them dieing they will take the 2 second a lap quicker machine.
    Look at drivers now they don’t think twice about putting a tyre on the grass 35 years ago no driver would for fear of been put in the barriers and death. Now the cars are that safe drivers don’t fear that. You can make all the changers you want all your doing is letting drivers push that little bit more

  • I don’t want them to put gravel in the runoff area. The margin for error on the exit of Radillon is small enough as it is and it might make things worse. However, the barriers definitely need to be repositioned. Most of these crashes were caused by cars hitting the barriers and bouncing straight back onto the racing line

  • Caio Queiroz says:

    The ones saying “all sports has it’s risks” better not pay any “hommage” to Senna, Anthoine or any other driver who lost his life in an accident. Hipocrisy at it’s peak.

  • I think the answer is to make it more like Monaco if you run out of track your race comes to an end. Right now they are driving all over the place to find that extra speed. How many of them at the top of the hill stick to the blacktop none they use the rumble strip as part of the road. If however that rumble strip ripped of a wheel your driveing is forced to change up. Easy way to prove it would be to rule that if you even touch the rumble with any tire from the bottom to the top of the hill there is a one minute pit penalty and definatly not 5 or 10 seconds penalty which is not enough to push you way out of contention. Do this and everyones driveing is forced to change.

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