Letter: Safety measures after motor racing's black weekend, and how Senna might have survived

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The Independent Online
Sir: The words of FIA President Max Mosley ('Mosley denies safety standards are slipping,' 3 May) - 'It's no more dangerous or no safer than it was a week ago . . . It's not completely safe and therefore we're not happy . . . 12 years without a fatality . . . a very high standard of safety . . .' - are an indictment of the authority's complacency.

Ayrton Senna need not have died as a consequence of his accident. Nelson Piquet (1987) and Gerhard Berger (1989) both had enormous accidents at the same point on the Imola circuit, yet the naked concrete wall they hit was still there to claim the sport's presiding genius five years later - without even a gravel trap to slow the car and reduce the impact. Piquet and Berger survived to race on, and the FIA was happy enough to do nothing. No condemnation is too high for their concept of 'a very high standard of safety'.

Yours faithfully,

TONY WALTON

Hove, East Sussex

3 May

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