This year in Formula 1, people have been watching Red Bull, Mclaren and Ferrari. Really though, I think that eyes should be on Lotus Renault GP, who have been the ‘Last Action Hero’ stars of 2011! After watching the Hungarian GP, I was shocked to see a Lotus Renault on fire again!
This isn’t the first time that Renault have been action stars either! The R31 has burned down to the ground twice this year, (2x Nick Heidfield’s car), and airbourne twice (1x- Petrov and 1x- Heidfield). Not to mention Heidfield eating his front wing in Canada, and Petrov munching his car up in Monaco!
Honestly, I think that the fires have to do with Renaults front-facing exhausts. I understand that the car’s exhaust is designed so that it sends more high-energy air over the diffuser for more downforce. However, the super-hot exhausts run right near the fuel tank, and also they are sending hot exhaust gases and a bit of unburnt fuel out near the driver!
So when the car does burst into flames, the fire completely consumes the sidepods and the cockpit when the car comes to a stop.
Innovative- Yes. Exciting- Yes. Safe- No.
As a sidenote, why can’t Formula 1 drivers exit their car in a more manly way? (Looking at you, Sutil. No prancing or skipping!)