N.D.B. Cars and Coffee 3rd Running - June 19th 2011 at 8am in Weston

Monday, July 27, 2009


This weekend’s Formula One qualifying saw something that has become increasingly rare in modern motorsports: a nearly fatal accident. After a heavy spring fell from Rubens Barrichello’s car it bounced down the track and hit Felipe Massa on the helmet. This is far from a regular occurrence (i.e., debris falling from a car, let alone hitting another car) and can be labeled as “freak” accident. Regardless, this incident serves to remind us of the inherent danger in motorsport and the courage and fitness of the athletes (yes, athletes) who choose this profession.

I was in attendance at the Montreal Grand Prix two years ago when Robert Kubica hit the wall at over 150mph destroying his car. In the time between the accident and the update that Kubica had suffered only minor injuries, fearing that Kubica might have been gravely injured, I can admit that I questioned whether it is right to support such a (sometimes) brutal sport. In fact, the entire grandstand went silent – I am sure thinking similar thoughts. Ultimately, we have to accept that the possibility of injury exists in motorsport and also know that the drivers accept that possibility. We are drawn to this sport because of the grace with which drivers guide their cars at over 200mph often on the limits of control. It is inevitable that from time to time the humanness of the drivers will be revealed. When this does happen, we can be thankful that the dramatic improvements in car (and helmet) safety over the last several decades have made injury and death a rare occurrence.

Best wishes to Felipe for a speedy recovery. As the Ferrari team said yesterday, “Forza Felipe.”

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