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F1 | Michael Masi is confident Spa is safe even after high-speed collision in a sports car race last weekend

Michael Masi, Formula 1 race director and safety delegate, maintains his position on the safety of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit after the major accident in last weekend’s Spa 24 Hours that injured two drivers.

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F1 | Michael Masi is confident Spa is safe even after high-speed collision in a sports car race last weekend
Fuente imagen: Formula 1 official webpage

The multi-car collision at Raidillon, high-speed section at the top of the hill after the Eau Rouge left-hander had no fatal consequences thankfully, but Jack Aitken and Davide Rignon were both hospitalised.

Out of the two hospitalised drivers, Aitken was more seriously hurt. The Williams reserve driver suffered fracture to his collarbone and a vertebra, leaving him on bed rest until he is allowed to return to the UK on Thursday to continue his recovery.

The accident involved a high-speed crash, with this it can be said that it shares similarities with the incident in the 2019 FIA Formula 2 race at the same spot that sadly took the life of Anthoine Hubert and left Juan Manuel Correa seriously injured and out of racing for a while.

Having this similarity pointed out and in the mind of everyone in the sport, it has re-ignited a discussion about safety at that specific part of the venue that holds the Belgian Grand Prix, where approaching drivers might have very little reaction time if another car has ricocheted from a barrier.

Soon after the collision, Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo reserve driver, wo was also competing in the 24-hour event, took his twitter account to suggest that changes should be made.

“Main thing is that everyone is out of their cars,” Ilott tweeted.

“Davide Rigon and Jack Aitken and will be checked at the hospital and I hope all will be good.

“I would also like to say that there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”

Concerning circuit changes, last October, Spa announced a €80m upgrade programme, which included new or extended gravel traps at various corners, including Raidillon, as part of the requirements of the FIM for bike racing.

Motorsport.com asked Masi about Ilott’s comments, given that the circuit is the next venue set to hold a F1 Grand Prix, he insisted that Spa-Francorchamps is fully licensed by the FIA (meaning it completely covers all safety requirements).

“There has been some works that have been undertaken at Spa in a number of areas,” said Masi. “But the Spa circuit holds a current Grade 1 [the FIA licence required for F1 use.]

“There are a few changes and improvements that made year-on-year, but I think the way that it is, it is safe from an FIA perspective.

“None of us like to see big incidents, and I’m just glad that the drivers are relatively okay. I’ve seen a couple of the media reports today and they are good and healthy which is the important part. They’ve got a recovery ahead of them, but that is the overall aspect there.”

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