#F1 Forensics: Putting the pieces together, Part 1 #Justice4Jules

Justice for Jules-01

Charlie Whiting completed his report into the events in Suzuka and presented it to Jean Todt within 4 days of the Jules Bianchi accident

As is to be expected and is proper, the FIA is refusing to comment on speculation on the minimal evidence revealed to date.

However, following the race being finally red flagged, FIA steward, Mika Salo, was alleged to reveal that Jules Bianchi had been speeding. This was reenforced by Charlie Whiting during the FIA press briefing which the FIA gave in Sochi on Charlie’s report.

Further, the conclusion of Charlie’s report and the action now being taken all sits under his conclusion, which stated, “It is probably better to take the decision to slow down away from the drivers.

The implication and innuendo is clear, ‘The drivers can’t be trusted to behave appropriately, so we the FIA will now act’. Yet the  question is whether the FIA had good reason to act prior to Jules accident, and are therefore culpable in anyway for the events in Suzuka.

As yet, the FIA have not admitted to this and the investigation remit appears to be focused more on ‘what can be done’ in the future.

And all this whilst Jules Bianchi lies in hospital, his life in the balance.


TJ13 is going to publish over the coming days, working documents and information where much of the information is freely available, but maybe not easily accessible.

These posts may relate to the race in Japan, the circuit layout, FIA documentation and interpretative comment on current FIA regulations and safety protocols

This is not intended to be a substitute for the FIA investigation which should be taking place, however, the fact that the FIA are conducting an ‘internal’ investigation only is a cause for concern, particularly given their historic record in such matters.

So these publications from TJ13 may provide key points of reference for us the fans to understand some of the factors behind the scenes of the current ‘F1 show’, and we may then be better able to judge the quality of the final report and its remit when finally presented by the FIA to the world at large.

Today, there was a clear warning issued in a coded fashion by Jules Bianchi’s mother when she said, “Jules is being well treated, the hospital is perfect, the doctors here are excellent, knowledgable, respectful and kind.

I can’t say anything more, apart from about the criticisms [that Jules contributed to the accident]. You know, some people say things to shirk their responsibilities.” Whether she is referring to the responsibilities of the media or the FIA, kind of doesn’t matter

Christine Bianchi was asked by French broadcaster RTL if she had been forced to remain silent, she replied, “Formula 1 is business, a huge business”.

The TJ13 project is rooted in the principle that the fans through social media can make a difference in Formula One.

So please engage in the comments section. You may have knowledge, photograph’s, a line of thought previously not considered and also experience which will add to the community’s understanding as a whole.

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Tourdog  edited by Andrew Huntley-Jacobs and comment provided from the TJ13 team and readers

“A timeline”

There is a mountain of information we need to sort through. I have not been able to find all of this data in one spot, so I did the work myself. The easiest way to do this is chronological, so please bear with me. All of the following info was obtained by critical analysis of the SKY FOM Television feed, combined with the “Fan video”, F1 app telemetry data, radio transcript, etc. Lets begin by defining where everything is, so we know what we are looking at.



0:00.00 Local time 3:00 PM.. Satellite overview at 3:00pm according to Wundermap. Notice Suzuka marked by the pin, is under the yellow storm overlay.



0:05.00 Green lights (local time 3:05) 2 hours 28minutes to sunset

0:06.10 Lap 1 Hamilton: “safety car needs to go faster”
0:08:25 Erickson Spins

0:09.44 HAM message “ Tell Nico not to do any dramatic stuff cause I cant see him

0:10.05 LAP 2 RED FLAG

0:30.00 LAP 3 Safety Car restart

0:38.33 Pit to BOT “So..(garbled)…that band of rain we spoke about in half an hour, that’s not going to happen, it’s going to come later, we expect to have around 35 more laps. It will be a race to lap 40. Currently on lap 5

0:49.06 LAP 9 GREEN FLAG

1:00.00 Satellite weather view 4:00pm. Suzuka is now under the orange band of weather, and the eye of the storm has moved closer.



1:12.17 End of Lap 21 ROS and HAM cross DRS detect point .984 sec gap, first time HAM is within 1 second of ROS. DRS not active.

1:14.12 ROS-Ham cross start/finish line start lap 23, gap .930

1:17.48 LAP 24 DRS Enabled. HAM has been in DRS range of ROS for 3 laps. (approx..) LAP 31 Pit to Bottas: “Try and keep your tire temps down by finding water offline if you can.

LAP 34 (approx) Pit to VET “We think the track’s going to dry more and more.

1:39.54 Lap 36 RB pit radio: “Ok Daniel Heavier rain in the pit lane, more rain in the pitlane” (message most likely delayed unknown amount of time)

1:40.06 Lap 36 Ted Kravitz “Its raining again..its steady, and its darkened actually in the last minute or so

1:42.15 LAP 37 Crofty “Rain starting to intensify a little bit …on a day which you might think is nice and bright by watching your TV screen, but I can assure you, by looking out of the commentary box, is a whole lot murkier when your out in the fresh damp air.

1:43.16 LAP 38 Radio call to Perez: “Fifteen minutes of rain Checco” (probably delayed) All cars still on intermediates.”
1:46.37 Lap 39 Pit to HAM: “Caution turn 1 some cars running wide”

HAM: “It is raining more

Pit: “…maintain tires… this rain looks like it may build

1:48.42 LAP 40 Complete, race reaches full points.


1:49.50 Lap 41 HAM to pit: “ Its raining more, seems like it’s getting heavier and heavier”

1:50.35 LAP COUNTER change to lap 42

1:52.03 Lap 42, Lap counter of FOM feed goes YELLOW for Sutil accident.



Bracketed times are those shown on the F1 App Data Feed
(1:27.08) F1 APP Sutil OFF

(1:27.10) F1 App Alert YELLOW IN Sector 11

(1:27:10) F1 App Alert YELLOW in Sector 8 map shows yellow from tower 12 to Degner

1:52.21 Ticker shows Bianchi in 17th +12.082

(1:27.26) F1 App shows Dulop curve yellow (sector 7)

(1:27.34) F1 App shows Sutil off at turn 7

1:52.27 Lap counter changes to lap 43

(1:27. 37) F1 App now goes from single sector double waved yellows, to sector 7 & 8 being double waved yellows

1:52.30 First camera shot of Sutil crash, he is climbing out of car. No tractor in view. This is the last camera time we see a camera 11 shot of the accident site aired by FOM.

This despite the fact we see the camera in the fan video facing the Dunlop curve an swivelling in an attempt to catch the Bianchi car as it hurtles towards the CAT digger.

Comment: Unlikely given fan video, that Camera 11 allegedly caught nothing of the incident. Even if its unusable/nothing new, it should be released as other images are out there.



Lap counter changes LAP 43

1:52.35 ESTIMATED tractor breaches safety of the barrier, on its way to recover Sutil’s vehicle.

1:52.46 first frame on “Fan video”. The  tractor is track side of barrier Tower 12 double yellow. Box light on right side of course, apex of Dunlop shows YELLOW. Box light at entrance to DEGNER shows GREEN



1:53.22 Lap 43, ticker shows Bianchi 17th +11.822

(1:29.04 )F1 App shows Bianchi icon stop.

1:53.44 58 seconds on fan video tower 12 GREEN Tractor is reversing with Sutils car. F1 App stays with double waved yellow flags

1:53.57 Approximate time of Jules impact Fan video time 1:11. Tractor on track for 1:17 (est). FOM cameraman is positioned 250 feet down-track from Tractor (lower left corner of following images).

He is on a platform, camera is aimed downtrack at Dunlop Curve exit. Cameraman sees slide, follows Jules car across runoff tarmac with camera. This is all visible on the “fan video”. He follows the shot all the way to impact.

Camera remains on tractor, appears due to the angle, and the fact that the Marussia has gone beyond the tractor, the camera cannot get clean shot of the Marussia. Curved end of barrier blocks the shot. Cameraman is wearing Green headset with microphone.





1:54.03 First shot of Jules crash from Camera 12. 6 seconds after impact. Notice the White cloud of Smoke and Dust behind tractor.



1:54.05 Marshal enters frame from behind tower, it is clear in larger images that he is talking on his radio. (can also be seen on fan video) There are now 5 marshals on the track side of the barrier, including the tractor driver.



1:54.15 The flag marshal in tower 12 comes into frame, he can clearly see all the events. Flag is Green. There are 4 separate people with radio communication, that are all aware of what has happened. The marshall behind the tractor, the marshal in tower 12, and FOM cameramen 11 and 12. 18 seconds since impact.

Comment: Charlie Whiting did admit in the FIA press briefing on the Friday before the Russian GP, that the stewards were not aware of Bianchi’s crash for about 20 seconds. Apparently they had no video and were alerted to this via a marshal calling in.

1:54.18  Infographic showing Sutil, but not Jules, comes up on lower right of FOM feed. Graphic shows YELLOW from entrance of Dunlop, to entrance of Degner. Tower 12 is waving green.

1:54.19  6th marshal can be seen entering frame as camera pans out. Marshall is in purple with white helmet carrying a fire extinguisher, is running towards the accident, on the track side of the barrier from the direction of the camera station. (right)



1:54.21 Lap counter changes LAP 44

1:54.23 First camera 12 shot of accident stops. (shot duration 20s)

Here is a video clip from the F1 App, which for an annual fee, provides users with live data during races from the same systems used in the control room. The F1 App is currently available for the last three races for about $12/£7.99 (usually $80 for the year)

Interestingly, if you buy the data now, you can download the feed produced live from the race in Japan. In fact any session of any F1 weekend this year.

You download the F1 App for free – then click through to shop to buy data.

(1:29.34) F1 App Alert BIA stopped at Turn 7

1:54.30 Martin Brundle mentions there is a marshal running down the track inside the tire barriers

1:54.33 Ticker shows Bianchi 18th, red arrows indicate dropping places.

1:54.54 Camera shot of Hamilton slowing, he seems to have already been made aware of safety car.

1:54.56 SAFETY CAR signal on FOM feed Exactly 1 minute after Jules crash, a whole 2:53 after Sutil Yellow.

(1:30.01) F1 App Alert Safety Car deployed

1:55.10 Camera shot of safety and medical car leaving pit lane

1:55.16 Fan video 2:30 tower 12 has just chaged to a single yellow and SC sign in last 6sec.

1:55.34 Ticker shows Bianchi OUT

1:56.27 Second camera shot of accident from camera 12. Medical car has arrived Medical car driver is exiting car. RR tire of tractor is flat. Safety car passes accident. Jules has been unconscious for 2.5 minutes

1:56.30 Tractor sets Sutils car down

1:56.40 2nd camera 12 shot of accident ends (shot duration 13s)

1:56.42 Lap counter changes, LAP 45 (2:21 since last lap change)

1:58.18 Third camera 12 shot of accident. minivan now on track behind medical car.

1:58.20 Medic pulls orange backboard out of van. Medical staff on site for ~2min.

1:58.39 Third camera 12 shot ends (21s)

1:59.15 Fourth camera 12 shot of accident SKY realises Jules has crashed

1:59.19 Lap counter changes, LAP 46 (2:17 since last lap change)

1:59.54 Crofty announces an ambulance on the track (~3.5 min since medical car arrived at scene of impact)



2:00.22 Ambulance can be seen pulling up to accident from off-track side of barriers. 6:25 since impact.

2:01.24 RED FLAG… 7:27 since Jules impact. 31minutes to sunset

2:01.30 Graham Lowden leaves pitwall, clearly distressed.

2:02.45 Kravitz announces Greenwood and Todt (Jules manager) are not being allowed into the medical center. Also says that team did not hear back from Jules when they tried to contact him on the radio.

2:04.48 RACE CALLED OFF… 10:51 Since impact.

2:05.00 Kravitz announces the medical center is “complete chaos” as FIA press delegate is trying to force open door to let Greenwood and Todt in

2:05.50 Ambulance arrives at medical center.

2:05.55 Medical center is opened. Bianchi has been unconscious for 12 minutes. 17 minute window of unknown, ambulance left for hospital sometime during this period.

2:23.20 FIA press officer Matteo Bonciani announcement at medical centre. “The driver is not conscious. Has been sent to the hospital by ambulance, because the helicopter cannot go in these conditions. So Further update will follow, for the moment we cannot say anything. You know me, I will keep you updated as, as, as fast as I can. OK,”

Other Information


If you have TV footage, or were even at the race, and have information to enhance this timeline study of the events – please comment accordingly and we will arrange for you to send us what you have.

Please interact with what you see above, the lines of thought are many and disperate – and your observations may have been overlooked by others.


74 responses to “#F1 Forensics: Putting the pieces together, Part 1 #Justice4Jules

  1. Huhhh, all this reminds me the Tupolev TU 144 crash affair in 1973, when both France and the USSR, after their own investigation, concluded that the only one to blame was the poor pilot Mikhail Kozlov. Whiting saying that the decision of reducing speed should not be on the driver’s hands, seems to me a tacit accusation. Of course… I am probably wrong.

  2. Hold on a F-ing second!!!….

    How can Charlie say they weren’t aware of Jules crash, when you can clearly see the cameraman following the cars entry into Dunlop until it hits the tractor?

    Didn’t he also say that there was no FOM video of the actual crash?

    • Yes, they did say that CCTV was the only footage of the crash, hard to believe Camera 11 didn’t get something.

      As far as being aware, race control is inside looking at a huge bank of screens. Given how fast it occurred I would believe that no one caught it when it happened. And we know the g meter was broken on impact, so that didn’t alert them either.

      Of course, it does make you wonder that they don’t find it necessary to ensure they have video of all the circuit at all times.

      Also, probably wouldn’t be too difficult to work up an algorithm to warn race control anytime GPS dropped below a certain speed as well.

      • But surely they must have been looking at their own gps tracker after Sutil went off? Looking at the mobile app tracker, you can clearly see that Jules was stationery for sometime in the same area as Sutil.

        As for saying he was going too fast, Ericsson was the next driver through that zone and he was doing in excess of 210 kph, so too those who followed after.

        I would also assume that given there was DWY flags (and given what they represent) in that sector, they’d be monitoring the CCTV feed so as to see why was the flag deployed and what work was being done.

    • Yes, the “official” word from Charlie is that they did not catch the crash on film. My interpretation of the data leads me to believe that this is false. Camera 12 was already focused and framed on the tractor 6 seconds after impact. The odds are that this camera caught Jules slide in real time.
      In addition Camera 11 definitely caught the initial point Jules left the track. The camera was focused and stationary. You can see the cameraman react and follow the car. Now, the image obtained on camera 11 may not have been focused during the slide, and the camera may have been moving to fast to catch the entire incident. HOWEVER. we know that within 20 seconds, there are 2 cameramen that know, for sure, that Jules impacted a safety vehicle. Two marshals also saw what happened.
      I don’t care that Charlie or any of his people did not “see” the accident.
      Within the the first 20 seconds of impact, there were 4 separate people reporting that a car had hit a safety vehicle. It was a full minute after the accident that the safety car was finally dispatched. So Charlie waited at least 30-40 seconds before Yellow. Why wait?
      Additionally, if Charlie knew that a car had hit a safety vehicle, and he most likely knew from the marshals on site that the driver was unconscious, why did it take another ~4 minutes to dispatch an ambulance?

      I will only give so much leeway. There is absolutely no doubt that race control knew they had an incident with a safety vehicle and a car, with an unconscious driver, within 30 seconds of the incident. Whether it was on camera or not is irrelevant. Charlie has marshals on the track for a reason. If he is not willing to trust the on-site reports he is getting from them, they are of no use.

      I am with the Judge. Marshals for all races should be FIA paid and trained.
      Volunteer marshals handling the “top formula of motorsport” is ridiculous.

      • …. this makes me think as well as the analysis on Camera 11 as Tourdog has done for later publication…

        Can you (TD) analyse all shots during the race from camera 12 – noting

        1) Start position of shot
        2) The end position of the shot (has the camera panned to follow the car through Degna)
        3) Any cars he does not follow with the pan during a shot and the cars he does follow during a pan through Degna
        4) Which cars he does follow with a pan – Cameramen operate differently with TOP cars than back markers sometimes.

        In fact TD – you have taken stills from the video – was that with a camera to the TV or do you have the ability to download sections of video?

        Basically you can’t record too much detail of what is happening each time this camera is on the world feed.

        • I dont know if its been mentioned elsewhere, but dont all cars carry onboard cameras. Somewhere there must be footage from Bianchi’s car showing his steering wheel, that will show what gear he was in and other information, along with a view of precisely what happened. Seems strange the footage, up to just before impact even, has not been released.

      • I want to add about the G meter being destroyed in the accident. After all, Alonso triggered it back in Abu Dhabi last year after being run off the road and continuing. Didn’t he have to have an MRI scan for that?

        I would imagine something like that would have sounded alarms with the Race Control..

  3. Great work so far and hope more info becomes available soon. Well done TJ13 for trying to find the truth.


  4. Does anyone have some knowledge about the reliability of the driver speeds in the official app? At the time of Bianchi’s crash, these values showed him to be only insignificantly slower than Sutil the lap before, despite the yellow at the corner.

  5. I’m all for finding out what happened but as a judge I would expect the tone to be more balanced. “Justice for Jules” as catchy as it may be sounds suggests you have already made up your mind.

    Sadly these events always seem clean cut and obvious the next day but in the fog of war life seldom is. Lessons will be learnt and the sport will be improved but to go on an anti CW witch hunt doesn’t seem entirely helpful and may disrail the process with emotional response.

    Motor racing is dangerous that how it is. I do not believe in my heart of hearts anyone there that day wanted this to happen or allowed it to happen for any other reason than it was a racing incident.

    • Equally important the lack of transparency combined with the fact that minutes after the incident Salo, one of the stewards, was blaming Bianchi, combined with the FIA presser again pointing at Bianchi’s speed, combined with the fact that there will be no outside investigation,, combined with the pressures hinted at in the RTL interview with Jules mom, means there needs to be a necessary counterweight to official narrative in order to actually arrive at a full explication and, one would hope, institute reforms that do more than just keep this one particular type of incident from happening.

    • Justice, and indeed the phrase, imply nothing more than a desire for justice to be served. It makes no judgement on the outcome at all. The issue most people, including myself have, is that the information released is of a ‘you lot don’t need to worry your pretty heads about it’, and almost no empirical evidence at all. What is worse, is the media just seem to have swallowed that line hook line and sinker.

      I don’t believe anyone wanted it to happen, but unfortunatly it did, and what we want to know is were the measures and guideline in place appropriate, and if not why not. For example, if Charlie has issued and abided by guidelines on DWY’s and they are innapropriate, then why did he do that, and was he acting within his jurisdiction. He this isn’t the case, and nobody questions this, what is to stop it happening again, under CW or someone else.

      The “motor sports are dangerous line” always gets brought out, but should we really use this as an excuse to accept the loss of peoples lives or maiming disability, without some rigourous enquiries as to why it happened?

      • ….. @Adam Parsons

        Indeed and we are only hearing about – what must be done. Why is a fundamental part of ensuring the former is done properly.

        Also Adam, as to imply, it appears that World Motor Sport Council regulation for all motor sports that when double waved yellow flags are displayed, drivers must “slow down…. and be prepared to stop” has been enforced in a woefully inadequate manner in Formula 1.

        Charlie’s directive in march this year that the drivers would be penalised under double waved yellow ONLY if the reduced their time by less than 0.5 seconds IS THE MEASURE to which the drivers respond.

        As Mattpt55 states, if this is the case, why has this happened and who is responsible? This question must be answered to ensure F1 regulations are in line with the FIA’s governance in the future.

        If individual or group of individuals have failed to regulate F1 properly and in line with clear WMSC intentions, particularly with the consequences for Bianchi, must be properly scrutinised before being allowed to make a similar mistakes again.

    • @r.bartlett

      I agree with your second and third paragraphs. Witch hunts usually fail to address the real and underlying issues.

      • ….. This is no witch hunt.

        It is not unreasonable to examine WHY things happen including who was responsible for ensuring they don’t

        This is a reaction to Charlie completing his report in 4 days – and the only implication of ‘fault’ was directed at the drivers…. NOT ONE comment suggesting the FIA could have done better.

        That is a flawed methodology – and if the FIA investigation follows the same path……

    • But this isn’t accurate. Bianchi went perpendicularly into the tractor and touched the back end, he didn’t go straight into the rear of the tractor; the tractor needs to be rotated 90°. If he’d gone in as illustrated he would be dead.

      • ….. the fan video is a little misleading due to the nature of the long lense – if you look at the path Bianchi takes, he is more likely approaching from around 7-8 O’Clock…taking the forward direction of (or the nose of) the tractor as 12 O’clock. So maybe rotate the tractor circa 45 degrees.

        At 90 degrees his head would either have passed underneath safely – or again hit the side of the angled rear full on.

        So as he passed under the rear of the tractor, he progressively entered the space where the angled plate of the tractor was getting closer to the ground. This is why the tractor was scooped up into the air – rather than shunted into a greater degree of rotation

        • There’s the picture of the doctor next to his car with his helmet visor open, is there anyway that picture can be blown up, so as to see what damage was sustained to his helmet and where?

          Furthermore, when Massa had his accident, within days pictures were shown of where the spring impacted on his helmet, why aren’t they releasing pics of Jules’ helmet?

          • Because Massa was going to survive.
            When Senna’s accident happened it was weeks after his accident that it was released. Apologies if it sounds callous

          • @Fortis

            There might not be much damage to the helmet – difficult to see from the video if Bianchi’s head actually collides with the tractor plus his reported injuries occur through deceleration and wouldn’t necessarily need an external impact. There is a photograph available on the web of Bianchi still in the car with helmet off and there’s no sign of external injuries, although you can only see the right side of his head, not the left. A Czech photographer has reportedly said he saw visible damage to the helmet but don’t know if that’s been verified by anyone.

          • @Judge

            Yes, the tractor was to the left side.
            I could have sworn I read somewhere that Bianchi was conscious when the marshalls first got to him but can’t find that source now. Has anyone else read that? If true, it might explain why there was a little delay in sending out the medics.

  6. FWIW I divide this into, what happened, and what should happen in the future. Many have said that he was going too fast, whilst others point out that Sutil et al were also at a similar speed, “so what’s the problem?”. I think it is reasonable to say that a Sauber, generally has more advanced aero than a Marussia. For me that negates the speed comparison issue, because it is fair to assume that the Marussia would have less down-force, and less grip. So in the spirit of analysis, rather than criticism, he was either driving outside his or the cars capabilities, in the prevailing conditions. The other issue is one of tyre effectiveness. In tj13 yesterday, and in many other outlets, drivers were commenting on the wet weather performance of both the full wets and intermediates. So any driver would need to take that fact into consideration, when deciding on a safe and sustainable pace. Another issue for me, is that Sutil went off track some time before Bianchi, and that was clear for all to see, and I include Race Control and the teams. I would pose the question – did Marussia warn Bianchi that a tractor was on the side of the track, and more importantly, that it was in a dangerous position? That brings me to the question of recovery vehicles being operated near to the track. In retrospect this is pure insanity. Even on normal roads, a speed limit reduction would be enforced. For many years we have seen dangerous vehicles being operated trackside during a race, and drivers only making a token reduction in their speed when passing the scene. Has the GPDA ever addressed these issues? I don’t blame the FIA or Race Control, they are too easy a target. If drivers or teams thought that recovery vehicles were an issue, why haven’t they said anything in the last few decades? The same applies to speed under double waved yellows. The FIA aren’t slow in issuing safety edicts. What now? Simple speed limiting in the same fashion as a pit lane speed limiter. Easy to implement and very effective. Bianchi’s family being asked not to comment, could also be taken as advice not to complicate or negate any insurance claims he/they might make.

    • @Iain:R8 – Agree with you. Different drivers, different car set-ups, different state of tyres, all contribute to capacity to handle wet conditions.

      I wish to add:
      1. Apart from Sutil and Bianchi, all others managed to go through the same spot without losing control. Some may have been going faster, some may have been going slower, but they didn’t crash. Unless the two of them suffered some sort of failure in their cars which led them to incorrectly apply brake/steering/power inputs, then ultimately the only person responsible for losing control is the driver.

      2. At the particular times that the two drivers lost control, there may have momentarily/instantaneously been more water on the track.

      3. If Bianchi had lost control at the corner a few milliseconds earlier, he would have missed the tractor completely. A few milliseconds later, and he would have hit it square on.

      4. By all means ask for an independent inquiry, but not prematurely try to blame CW, FIA or FOM without access to the full facts.

      • Sutil was right behind Bianchi when he went off – possibly a visibility issue
        A rough stopwatch on the F1 App video in the article shows, Bianchi was about 13 secs behind Massa just before crashing – rain getting harder – time for some standing water to collect?

    • You made a comparison with the speed of Sutil’s car and that of Jules, I think a better comparison would be that of Ericsson who was the driver next driver along. From the video you can see that he was travelling in excess of 200+kph, much faster than Jules through that zone.

    • San Marino 1991. The warm up lap, Prost loses control of a top 3 car in the rain.
      Suzuka 2014, Ericsson spins on warm up lap. What about the rain master Schumacher. Everyone remembers his victory in Spain 1996 in the pouring rain, yet most have forgotten that just two weeks before from pole position he slid off into the barrier at Portiers during a wet race…

      I’m certain there’s other instances but the first two have been mentioned on the site recently.

      Irrespective of downforce, speed or worn tyres, if the driver hits a river they are mere passengers. It could well be that a drain was pumping out water on both occasions.

      When the safety car came out, am i right to say that Button and Vettel stopped. Vettel took on inters whereas Button took on wets, yet of the two surely the Red Bull has better aero?

      • There is also Spa 1998. Coulthard qualified second loses control at La source on the first lap setting off a massive chain reaction accident. The restart saw the pole sitter Häkkinen spin out at almost the same place on the first lap of the restart. Watch Schumacher completely misjudge overtaking Coulthard.

    • If no one else, Brundle has been rather outspoken. The ultimate responsibility for the safety of the drivers lies in the hands of the Safety Delegate and Race Director. Yes that makes them easy targets but the fact of the matter is if you feel that this article is a “witch hunt” when, in fact, it is a simple (well compiled) timeline of events and when they occurred that means that the conclusion you draw is based on facts, not polemic. And if that conclusion is that the FIA is to blame, then that is simply the direction the facts point.

    • Look at the end of the day minor speed adjustments through the yellow zone are pointless. It’s likely that Bianchi went off because he aquaplaned, but he could have just as easily suffered a puncture, or gearbox failure, or broken suspension, any one of which could have sent him hurtling off into the tractor anyway.

      As Brundle no doubt has made clear, this was a scenario that’s been around for a long time. Leaving the choice of how little to slow down leads to the drivers going as quickly as they can. The focus then is on the dashboard rather than the actual hazards. This is the approach that has to be changed. As with so many other aspects of racing safety the, drivers have to be protected from themselves. Same goes for the marshals.

  7. As I mentioned previously – there have been 3 ( 2 motorcycle & 1 WTCC) driver deaths at Suzuka over the last 10 years. In all 3 cases the investigation was done by the track owner (Honda) and accepted by the local police and the Mei Prefecture local government without further investigation. The track owners / race officials were absolved in all 3 cases, with blame being put directly / indirectly on the drivers and unpaid course workers.

    History suggests it’s likely that any investigation done will be by Honda and the FIA which will be accepted by the local authorities. With civil suits rare and extremely expensive in Japan, it’s unlikely any truly independent investigation will be done. Added is the fact that Bianchi’s care, which if it went on for years, may not be covered by insurance, which would be a powerful inducement for the Bianchi family to settle with the caveat that they do not launch a civil suit

    As much as I would like to see a truly independent investigation – I know it won’t happen and the FIA will set the agenda, and in the future when Bianchi’s accident is discussed it will be the FIA’s version that will used.

  8. I’m going to be the unpopular guy here. This “justice for Jules” malarkey works well as a headline in the Daily Fail or the The Sun, but in the end, it was Jules wjho was responsible for the fact that his car smashed into an obstacle at much higher speed than what was appriproate for a section with double waved yellows. If Whiting issued a brain-dead ‘interpretation’ of the rules doesn’t matter. In the end each driver is responsible for preserving his own life and that of his competitors. By blasting through the section at the speed he did, Jules didn’t even give a toss about the lives of the track-side marshals.
    Just because he offed himself doesn’t mean that we should close our eyes and think he’s a victim – he’s the main culprit. He blasted through a dbl yellow zone much faster than was acceptable, as did all others, who were merely lucky to get away with it. He tacitly accepted lethal danger for the track-side marshals for the gain of a few tenths of a second. There is no justice in that. It was a foul move. Jules was merely unlucky that he paid the price that just as well could have been paid by one of the marshals recovering Sutil’s car. No commiseration from me.

    • Without an independent investigation from someone with absolutely no stake in what his final conclusion for the accident was, should ensure there is no perception of bias. Without that, any conclusion that any one has on the cause of the accident is merely speculation. It doesn’t make you unpopular – just stupid.

      • So what you are saying is, there is a possible combination at which the speed with which Bianchi impacted the crane is acceptable for the conditions? Come back if you have something to contribute instead of just insulting others. Your last useful contribution has BC written after the date.

        • I know your first language isn’t English – but I have clearly stated twice on this article and several other times in other articles that without an unbiased independent investigation we will never know the true cause/s of Bianchi’s accident. And if that investigation was done I would accept the results regardless of what the conclusion was. And I don’t come on this site to insult others – just you.

          • Would you repeat the last sentence? I want that you repeat, you come here to insult me.

            As for the ‘independent investigation’. What is there to investigate? The track was under atrocious conditions, Bianchi was in a car with low downforce and worn intermediates. He lost control because he was too fast for the conditions present and smashed into a trackside vhecile with such a force that the vehicle in question was lifted into the air and moved half a metre to the left. Since an F1 car is relatively light, the simple laws of physics prescribe that the neccessary kinetic energy came mainly from speed rather than mass. What exactly do you hope to find? He ignored double waved yellows, was too fast and crashed. End of.

      • …Exactly CAV … being seen to do the right thing is as important as doing it…. internal investigation, no matter how proper… will always appear to be less than completely honest

    • @Hippo “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” JA

      The FACT

        is Charlie told the drivers a time reduction of 0.5 seconds (or more) per cautioned sector would not be penalised under double waved yellow flags.

        Surprised THIS IS HOW THEY BEHAVE?

        Legal or not, even obeying Charlie’s measure – this reg in MASSIVE breach of the WMSC regulation on yellow flags – “slow down… be prepared to stop”

        F%$k me Hippo, I know you called the speeding an issue early doors – but being stubborn over this just makes you look intransigent.

        ALL THE DRIVERS WERE DRIVING TOO QUICKLY TO OBEY THE – “Slow down… be prepared to stop” mandate from the WMSC.

        210, 200, 190, 180, 150, 130, 110, 90 KPH – IS ALL TOO FAST!!!!

        Why? Because the enforcement measure was woefully inadequate…

        Oh and by the way 0.5 seconds was the reg for dry and wet – anyone with half a brain should have considered this inadequate….

        Oh and by the way, I’ve heard drivers at pre race briefings questioned the tie reduction they must deliver for wet conditions under DWYF reg – were informed “a bit more” – And Brundle confirmed this in his piece on SKY reviewing F1 safety, regs and Bianchi’s accident

      • So, just because Charlie says so, it’s okay to risk other people’s lives? I’m legally allowed to go 200kph on the Autobahn under icing conditions. If I do and off myself – who’s fault is it?

        • …You have it wrong. A better analogy is that there is a speed limit of 120 Kph (slow down… be prepared to stop), however nobody enforces letting everyone drive at 300 kph.

          • Why must it be enforced? What happened to common sense. It’s getting dark, it’s pissing down and you are in a car on worn inters and you need Charlie to force you to go slower? I’d call that stupidity. They all knew there are likely marshals at the side of the track, yet they all blasted by.

            All this pointing at Whiting is ridiculous. What happened to drivers being able to put 1 and 1 together and come up with something other than eleven. If you drive your car, do you decide what’s a safe speed or are you going as fast as the law let’s you, even if the conditions are unsafe?

            This whole hype is becoming ridiculous.

          • So it’s the fault of the authorities not punishing rule breaking and the (unpunished) rule breakers are not at fault? Do you even realize what ridiculous argument your are trying to peddle…

          • … The World Motor Sport Council issue regulations – not principles – for each category of competition to adhere to.

            Formula One has its own regulations designed to follow these mandates.

            WMSC regulation for DWYF is “slow down… and be prepared to stop”. This has been interpreted by Whiting as a regulation to the drivers stating, ‘reduce your speed to 85% of your best sector time’

            Drivers comply with Charlie’s directive because he is the F1 Safety Officer and Director of Race control for F1.

            The drivers may not even be aware of the WMSC mandates (WMSC Flag recognition interestingly is not part of the F1 super license process, which it maybe given Japan should be reconsidered) – they are briefed by Charlie as to what is and is not allowable.

        • You can’t compare driving on normal roads, even the autobahn, with racing. It’s a completely different world. Driving too fast on a road is stupid, and you put yourself at fault. Driving too fast on a race track is the entire point.

          What if Jules had slowed down and been caught out by something like brake failure, pitching him off the track anyway? Would you still think he’s at fault and that the rules under yellow aren’t stupid?

          • That’s just over-simplification. The rule is: slow down by 0.5 of a second per sector. If you slow any more than that, you’re letting your team down. Those are the real rules that all the drivers and teams have been working to. It’s not the drivers that are wrong, it’s the whole damn system.

      • There’s no justice issue here. 20 guys went too fast under double yellow and instead of kicking their teeth in, we glorify the one guy, who offed himself while doing so. It could have been anyone of them. #Justice4Jules will not take off, because of lack of injustice. He was too fast and had an accident, that’s all there is to it.

          • Hippo, I agree with you on this, if he had killed a marshal instead of crashing into a recovery vehicle, would we be looking at Jules as a victim?

            But I also respect the other guys trying to better something, nothing wrong with asking questions in order to improve safety.

          • Judge, seems to me this is true for most of us, so why are you selecting Hippo for you comment?

            Kind of pointless exercise.

  9. A few things I would like answers to, that may help us put things in perspective.

    1) what were the ambient light levels? Any pro photographer that was on site should have all of the light data we need. Each digital pic should have a light measurement stored with its raw data. If we can plot that data over the course of the race, we should be able to tell how dark it had gotten.

    2) there is a blue van pulling up to tower 12 on the first camera 12 shot.
    What is this van? where did it come from? If you follow the path of the road back, that frontage road eventually leads to the last chicane, and if the van came from the pit lane, it would have had to driven essentially on track to get where it was at tower 12.

    3) Why was the medical center locked? shouldn’t there have been a trauma team waiting for Jules to arrive? After all it had been 12 minutes since impact by the time the ambulance arrived at the medical center. I would expect there to be a team of doctors and nurses waiting for his arrival.

    4) How long was Jules at the medical center? 12 minutes to get there, plus the 32 minute travel time to the hospital, means it was AT LEAST 44 minutes between impact and arrival at the Hospital. There is a youtube video that went up the day of/after the race, that claims to show the ambulance that Jules is in traveling in driving down a multi-lane road. You can see the ferris wheel in the background of the shot a distance away. The ambulance in the video is not the same ambulance that can be seen at the race. So at a minimum, Jules was transferred to a different ambulance at the medical center. How long was he there?

    5) just past tower 12, on the right side of the track, there is a crane parked on the hill. This appears to be 1 of several crane cameras. I THINK, that due to its location, the crane cameras shot of the incident would have been blocked by tower 12, but I have not been able to confirm. It is possible that FOM had at least one crane camera that was capable of seeing the incident from above.

    6) there is a fixed camera, ground level, on the left side of the track, that is positioned between Dunlop and Degner. I only noticed this last night and have not had a chance to investigate, but this camera points backwards towards tower 12. It may have been in a position to pick up what happened from a similar perspective as camera12. I think this camera was only used two or three times during the whole race.

  10. We get radio messages delayed. Is the data in the app really real time? And is it accurate – I ask this because in the early days Sat Nav was only suitable for boats at sea, CIA mandated there should be 15 meters difference to the actuals so they were the only ones with correct data. Which made it useless for road cars. Of course, that was corrected.

    • …People watch this live – I personally have no experience of that. However for $80 a year – if it was not representative of what the users were viewing – eg driver tracker, then it would surely fall into disrepute very quickly.

      I do know the information is supposed to emanate from the live data from race control.

  11. The stakes and money involved are way too high in F1 for effective double yellow enforcement.

    I think this is why the double yellow flags aren’t obeyed like they are in club racing or lower series. For the double yellows, its very subjective determining how much you should slow down in your opinion versus another driver’s. And in F1 someone is always trying to gain an advantage, even if that means taking a bigger risk by going faster than you would by the letter of the law under double yellows.

    I also strongly believe the argument should be about why a driver got injured in what should have been an accident that he could have easily walked away from. Just look at Sutil. Same corner, nearly same speed. No problem. No one can control the chaos of what can and might happen on a racetrack. One pebble, one drop of oil, a slight gust of wind, who knows what you can run into that can cause loss of control???

    You can only prevent injury by having adequate safety equipment. But that was nullified here by having a structure not designed safely absorb the impact an F1 car. I mean, you can crash an F1 car at 300kph into the tyre barrier (i.e. Hamilton Nurburgring 2007), or into a solid wall (i.e. Kubica Canada) and live to talk about it. It was only because Bianchi’s head hit the damn underside of a construction digger that we are here now.

    • Spot on av2290 re: Digger – agreed 100%

      here’s my summary of the problems.

      1) Inappropriate speed – sanctioned and agreed by CW
      2) Recovery vehicles inappropriately designed
      3) Blind spots from the FIA race control – unforgivable when its a recovery vehicle on track with marshals

      I have more…..

      • Judge, first of all, awesome piece of article here! Im hopefull it does make enough noise to bring attention to the main issue at hand here: Safety

        I´ll become yet another “odd ball” and point out that the focus should be on the improvement of the general safety guidelines of F1, instead of the hash “Justice for Jules”. Just as Valhalla and Hippo have pointed out: This could have been anyone, and most likely a Marshall, not just Jules. Sad thing is we were already close to having a similar event (Death/injury) this year at the German GP, yet no one seems to remember it.

        Anyone remeber when Sutil spun (Coincidence) at the German GP and couldnt get his car going right in the middle of the track? We had a scenario where again, double yellows were brought out, and marshalls had cross the race line to go push Sutils car out of the way. No drivers “slowed” as required, and some were even caught by surprise when seeing marshalls all over the place. Another scary coincidence is that back then, Martin Brundle also made a remark about how dangerous it was for a recovery vehicle to be so close to the race line when Kvyats car had to be recovered earlier in the race.

        The race ended with the controversy that no SC was deployed and the blame swiftly came to Charlie Withing, the FIA etc…So pretty much to what we´re seeing now. This is just 3 months ago! Difference is that back then, thanksfully, no one was injured. It was mentioned and lightly debated on forum comments, but it never achieved “main story” status of any F1 website. And this is my main beef! The problem has been there for a VERY long time, and yet we have to wait for calimity to knock us out in order to do things right 🙁

        I know most of us tend to have short memories, especially on random events, but maybe if we try to look at the past and find out “trends” , we can also contribute to the cause that has led to Jules accident as well as F1s leadership lack of accountability to uphold the utmost for the sports safety.

        Links to the “Germany incident”, check out the comments #22 and reply to #20


        Sky video:

  12. Hi guys – I watched the Australian pay TV live – My recollection is the view was looking at Sutil’s car on the hook with the marshal struggling on the rope to stop the car swinging, I assume this is from camera 12 as the crane was reversing something flashed behind the crane jolting its rear around toward the barrier and causing Sutil’s car to drop from the hook, the rope guy and the few marshals seemed stunned. this happened too fast to see clearly what happened, there was a small cloud of what appeared to be steam and a small patch of red and white and not much else to see at real time speed the the marshals after a while started to react, but it was difficult to work out much else and it wasn’t clear what had taken place until the TV moved to the other side. to camera 11 I think.
    My comments are
    1. The speed of the flash was such that a head on impact with the barrier as it was going to be if the crane was not there in my judgement would have been fatal.
    2. The speed of the flash was a lot higher than Sutil’s which looked like he had scrubbed off a lot of speed as the car had spun around rear first into the tire wall before he ended with the nose first under the tire wall up to the front suspension.
    3. My opinion the speed was more representative of a stuck throttle, far higher than normal track exit speed, there will be data logged that we haven’t seen yet.
    That TV footage should also be easy enough to find, I didn’t keep mine, there was some footage on youtube but some have been cut.

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