Anonymous
Anonymous asked in SportsAuto RacingFormula One · 1 decade ago

why did formula 1 cars crash so much in the 70s 80s and 90s?

i saw a video on metacafe with f1 cars from the 70s 80s and 90s and the crashes they have a incredible nothing compared to today. so iwas wondering why did they crash so much? by the way i could tell you what the video is its called total chaos and tell me how to link please

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  • rosbif
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    While watching the crash video, don't look at the cars, look at the run-off areas.

    One reason you see so few spectacular crashes these days is that circuit safety is at a level which was completely unimaginable 15 years ago, let alone 25 or more years ago. The drivers have so much room to make mistakes when they run wide on the pretty green astroturf, and huge sand traps to catch them if they run out of astroturf, AND great big tyre walls to stop the car after that. Mistakes just aren't punished as severely as they were in the past.

    Today's crashes also look a lot less spectacular because of car safety. Until a decade or so ago the car would more or less disintegrate upon impact (find pictures of Depailler's accident on google, or the video of Villeneuve's accident if you really want to ruin your weekend). In the wing car era the driver was also sitting right at the front of the car with his feet in front of the front wheels and not much in the way of crash structure to save him...Michael Schumacher has driven those cars in demonstration events and says they scare him because he feels so exposed. Even small accidents tended to have big consequences in those days.

    To link, copy what's in the address bar on your browser and paste it into your Q.

    Here are some examples of circuit safety to show you what I mean:

    1985: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSiAeeuBpB4

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    1987: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1uKlyZDYcg

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    1979: "catch fencing theory"...it was thought that a few rows of garden fence and a single layer of tyres was enough back then...mind you, it was better than nothing at all in head-on accidents: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXumDZP15gU

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    It was eventually got rid of because while it helped in head-on situations it sometimes had the unpleasant effect of flipping over a car which had a side-on impact, thus making the accident worse than it would have otherwise been.

    And just look at the mess which is made of this late 1970s Brabham in a crash test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpkhRlGicMM

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    Or what happened in front-on crashes as late as 1990: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NxP98H-vG4

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    And a combination of the two in 1993; poor track safety and poor car safety by modern standards...but a decade earlier he would have been dead: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3HsAFz5cEs

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  • 1 decade ago

    .

    In the 70's it was due to driver error and excess nicotine.

    In the 80's it was due to huge shoulder pads.

    In the 90's it was due to Schhhhh,

    .

  • 1 decade ago

    back then you actually had to drive the cars and they were more difficult to handle.

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