The FIA panel looking into Jules Bianchi’s accident at Suzuka has produced a 396-page report into the incident.
The conclusions reached were that Bianchi did not slow sufficiently to avoid losing control on the wet circuit. The report said that if drivers adhered to the requirements of double yellow flags, as set out in regulations, then neither competitors nor officials would be put in immediate or physical danger. The report said that the actions taken after the accident were consistent with the regulations and with usual practices and there was no apparent reason why there ought to have been a Safety Car. Bianchi applied both throttle and brakes when he went off. A failsafe algorithm designed to override the throttle and cut the engine did not operate.
The report said that Bianchi’s helmet struck the sloping underside of the crane. The magnitude of the blow and the glancing nature of it caused massive head deceleration and angular acceleration, leading to Bianchi’s severe injuries. The report said that nothing would have made any difference given the impact and said that “it is considered fundamentally wrong to try and make an impact between a racing car and a large and heavy vehicle survivable. It is imperative to prevent a car ever hitting the crane and/or the marshals working near it”.
The report recommended that there be a new regulation for double yellow flags, giving the Clerk of the Course power to impose a speed limit in any section of track where double yellow flags are being displayed. The report called for a review of safety critical software and measures to check its integrity. Guidelines on circuit drainage will also be reviewed and the panel recommended that a regulation or guideline be established so that the start time of any event shall not be less than 4 hours before either sunset or dusk, except in the case of night races. It was also recommended that the F1 calendar is reviewed in order to avoid, where possible, races taking place during local rainy seasons.
It was proposed that new Super Licence holders be given a course to familiarise themselves with the procedures used by F1 in running and ensuring the safety of an event and to be tested on the subject.
It was also recommended that provision be made for the tyre supplier to develop and adequately test wet weather tyres between each F1 season, such that it is able to supply the latest developments to the first event.