Williams’ Rob Smedley has told Autosport that from a technical point of view, closed cockpits could be implemented rather simply to Formula One cars.
The comments come in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s horrific accident on Sunday in Suzuka, which Smedley described as a “freak accident.”
“From a technical point of view it’s something very easy to implement,” Smedley said. “It’s something that we’ve looked at in lots of the technical working group meetings and we’ve been back and forwards.”
Smedley, now Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, has been through a similar time period in his career, then serving as Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari.
Massa’s head was struck by an errant suspension spring at Hungary, but fortunately, he was able to recover after missing the remainder of the 2009 season.
Such an actual change would need to go through several levels of deliberation and discussion by those groups involved in the sport before being implemented. Alexander Wurz, head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, has warned against knee-jerk reactions.
Aesthetics would change, but Smedley said that’s been constant throughout F1 since the first season in 1950.
Still, the focus remains on praying and wishing for Bianchi’s recovery.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto