Friday 25 September 2015 4:42 am

Max Mosley: F1’s closed cockpits safety plan is nonsense

Former motorsport chief Max Mosley has rubbished proposals to introduce closed cockpits after a run of recent accidents. Mosley’s comments come ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, which marks the first anniversary of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi’s fatal accident. “A closed cockpit is a nonsense because there are so many downsides,” Mosley said. “The main downside is getting somebody out in a hurry, getting at them and getting them out when they have got a broken leg or a broken back. There are elaborate procedures that get them out without them being paralysed for life and they require being able to get at the driver and do all kinds of things.” F1’s governing body the FIA is believed to be trialling several protective solutions for F1 cars this month in response to a series of accidents. Last month 37 year-old British driver Justin Wilson died after being struck in the head by a piece of flying debris from an accident ahead of him during a race of F1’s American rival Indycar in Pennsylvania. It followed the death in July of Bianchi, who had been in a coma since October last year following an accident at Suzuka. He suffered serious head injuries after losing control of his car in wet conditions and colliding with a recovery tractor that was on track retrieving Adrian Sutil’s crashed Sauber. It was the first fatality as the result of an accident during an F1 race since former world champion Aryton Senna’s death in May 1994. In July 2009 Formula Two driver Henry Surtees was killed at Brands Hatch when a dislocated wheel from another car struck his helmet. Only a week later Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa narrowly escaped a similar fate during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when a flailing suspension spring smashed through his visor. He was placed in an induced coma for two days but he made a full recovery and returned to racing the following year. “There have been three debris incidents now: there was Surtees’ son, there was Massa’s spring and now there’s Justin Wilson,” added former FIA president Mosley. “The latest thing is the cockpit cover because of Justin Wilson and the really stupid drivers say that would have helped Bianchi which of course it wouldn’t. No matter what you put there it wouldn’t have helped because of the G-force. If you go into a tractor at 120mph it is going to smash everything.”