By RENEE WANG
Motorsports: a competitive sport with motor-powered vehicles zooming at thrilling speeds and racers who know too well that even the smallest mishap can end their career or worse, take their life.
In the midst of the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, legendary Formula 2 driver Anthonie Hubert fatally crashed into Juan-Manuel Correa and Giuliano Ales. While Correa and Ales were later reported in a stable condition, Hubert was not lucky and tragically passed away after the collision.
Ultimately, the late twenty-two-year old’s unfortunate incident prompted motorsport fans to consider what society can do to improve safety in these over-speeding mobiles so cases like these never happen again.
In 2016, Hubert made his official debut at the European Formula 3 Championship. While he was in the racing scene early on.
And while Hubert’s early success came from his love and talent of the exciting sport, motorsports, and especially car racing, continue to promote many obvious dangers to their participants, even with actions as simple as just driving the car itself.
Although these life-threatening possibilities have spurred some such as stock-car driver Rick Mast to reveal the true horror that lies within the sport, most warnings continue to go ignored and unnoticed by younger racers.
In particular, Mast stated his judgment on young drivers believing in motorsports as a “macho sport” leads them to overlook crucial warnings for their own safety.
While problems like fumes give awareness to associations to incorporate limitations for safety, but because of these certain restrictions, it can cause fans who initially enjoy the thrills of high-speed action of the sport to no longer have the same enthusiasm as before.
The tragedy of it is that change in the motorsports scene will not happen until a major accident occurs.
The prime example of a major shift in Formula 1 (F1) procedures was the accident of world champion F1 driver Aryton Senna. He is widely known as one of the greatest F1 drivers in history, winning 41 races and 3 world championships. But his unmatched speed ultimately resulted in his passing from an accident. But, only after his departure, F1 displayed a drastic improvement in their view of safety.
As a result, modern helmets are made to protect the head and neck that can withstand major impact. In 2003, F1 obligated the Head and Neck Support (HANS), securing the head from making speedy movements in case of an accident. Additional factors like car and track designs were changed for safety precautions.
From all these improvements resulted from one man’s death, the same dilemma persists: the tragedy is required for action. In truth, authorities and fans are ignorant about the true dangers of the sport until devastating events like Senna’s happen.
Over the years, motorsports have slowly evolved into a safer sport, unlike earlier years in which safety was a more irrelevant priority of the sporting industry.
Improvements such as NASCAR’s allow disasters to be prevented, and though motorsports can never truly be 100% safe from crashes. We can at least stay vigilant and stop another accident from occurring.
Until then, we as a society must take the responsibility of becoming more aware of the dangers by causing a change in racing standards.