Formula 4 driver Billy Monger and his horrific crash has prompted a redesign of rear jacking points in Formula One.
When Billy Monger’s crash in Formula 4 happened, it easily took its place as one of the most horrific accidents in the world of Motorsports – especially at a junior level. The young Brit went to overtake the car ahead of him, and the rest happened in a flash. Medical and safety teams worked around the clock to extricate Billy from his car, doing all they could to save the teen. Although Billy made it to the hospital and was put in an induced coma, both of his legs had to be amputated. While Billy has made the best of his situation, the FIA is keen to never see such an accident occur under their stead again.
The FIA would like all F1 teams to ensure that their rear jacking point designs cannot act aggressively during such an incident.
Considering the strength, shape and position of the jacking points, they may become one of the initial points of contact in a crash with another car and alter the performance of the crash structure of the other car.
“The use of aggressive designs will not be permitted from the Monaco GP onwards. All jacking points used from that date must first be approved by the FIA technical department.”
While such a sudden change to their cars may have provoked the ire of some teams, the F1 squad has folded in the request without complaint, and the teams that have been identified as needing a change – such as Haas – have done so quietly. Haas’ Gunther Steiner issued a brief quip regarding the renovated rear jack points, saying that the changes came for a good reason, and that the request was “nothing too demanding”:
“We had to change our jack pick-up point.
It’s a change for a good reason. The parts came on Wednesday, and we are fine. The part on the jack had to be changed and something on the car as well, but it was nothing too demanding.
It’s the right thing to do, and there was full support. There was a reason why, and if we learn something, we should change it.”
Any Motorsport, particularly the single-seater category, is bound to have a high amount of risk running in tandem with the race, but the accidents over the past couple of months – especially Monger’s – has shown that there is room enough to continue improving the safety of the sport.