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Derek Bishop

Director

Planning for life

Date added: 21st Mar 2016
Category: Innovation Culture

Always improving, making the most of the technology available, collaborating and sharing; a motorsport lesson which other sectors would do well to learn from

The most ardent of motor sport fanatics would agree that F1 doesn’t always get it right.  The sight of an empty track as the clock ticked down to the end of qualifying at Melbourne proved that.  But if there is one thing that F1 does do well it is that it is not afraid to try, to experiment, to improve in the interests of excitement, spectator value and safety.

Admittedly and sadly it took a fatality to wake the sport up; but over the last decade and more it has been on a relentless drive to improve safety for the drivers, the pit crews and the spectators.  Thanks to this determination, allied in part to the availability of new materials, Fernando Alonso was able to walk away from a car which looked more like a mangled junk heap than a sleek F1 racer.  Commenting on his crash Alonso said “I want to thank McLaren and the FIA for the safety of this car. I am alive thanks to the job of the last 10-15 years in Formula One.”

We may not all be fans of motorsport but over the years it has made a significant contribution to the design and safety of ordinary road cars. Tyres, brakes, road handling; even the materials which are cars are made of all influenced by innovation in motor racing. The ongoing drive to improve safety in motorsport will not only see more racers away from impossible crashes; thanks to collaboration and sharing of knowledge it will also improve the chance of survival for motorists everywhere.

Always improving, making the most of the technology available, collaborating and sharing; it’s a lesson which other sectors would do well to learn from.

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