Ferrari‘s Carlos Science crashed on the way out of turn 13 during a second workout at the Miami Grand Prix last Friday, leaving him by the end of the weekend after hitting a concrete wall he was battling neck pain.
At a briefing for drivers on Friday, Science spoke about the incident and suggested placing a Tecpro barrier on the corner, only to take no action.
Esteban Ocon then crashed on the same corner on Saturday with a force of 51G, breaking the chassis of it Alpine a machine, which meant he could not participate in the qualification. Okon recovered in eighth place in the race, but admitted that as a result of the blow he experienced physical difficulties.
A number of riders have spoken out against the decision by FIA officials not to place Tecpro on the return trip, including Norris, who expected additional talks to take place in the next race in Barcelona.
“I guess we’re learning from mistakes, and I hope they’re learning from what happened,” Norris said after the race in Miami.
“As drivers, we understand everything differently than someone who doesn’t drive a car.
“It is important that when we give advice, it is taken and measures are taken, especially if I think that the lack of Tecpro could have much greater consequences than if there, for example, was Tecpro and something simple.
“Especially when it happens once, we said something, did nothing. It happened again, and it was even worse. People should just listen to us.
“We drive cars. In many things we know more than they do, in some they know better than us. We just need to work more together.
“But at the moment we don’t seem to be heard much.”
Marshals help Esteban Okan, Alpine A522, after the crash
Photo by Mark Satan / Drawings of motorsport
Norris added that it was a “pretty big security moment” and the FIA didn’t follow the example of the drivers and it’s “also expensive”.
“Esteban’s bathtub is broken,” Norris said. “They just need to take action for the most part.”
Okon welcomed his Alpine team’s efforts to complete the overnight repairs so he could take part in Sunday’s race, saying “everything is broken”.
Alpine F1 boss Otmar Schaffnauer estimated that it was easy to say that it was necessary to make another call, retrospectively, but urged the FIA to consider this decision.
“If we look back, the FIA should also conduct a review,” Schaffnauer said.
“My personal opinion is that if we had a Tecpro barrier, it would be safer. The FIA’s task is not to protect cars, but to protect cars and drivers is strongly interconnected. If a car is damaged, the driver can also get injured.”
Schaffnauer added: “Another thing you may need to pay attention to is the condition of the third car.
“In the old days it would have been a T-car. I don’t think we need to go to the T car because then we need extra people.
“If the car is a little more built up with the same parts that you already have, then you’re more likely to fix it for qualification.”