Burti Calls For More Visor Safety After Massa Incident
Luciano Burti, a former F1 driver who is probably best known for his huge accident at the 2001 German Grand Prix, or even at the Belgian Grand Prix of the same season has called on the FIA to increase helmet safety even further.
Burti, a fellow Brazilian race driver of Massa’s crashed heavily at the Belgian GP of 2001, when he clashed with Eddie Irvine of Jaguar and his Prost was embedded deep into the tyre wall. His helmet was badly damaged, much more so than Massa’s and left him with a brain concussion – pretty much why his F1 career came to an end so quickly.
Burti admitted that Carbon Fibre helmets have proven to be stronger in Massa’s case, however Burti cites his visor being in-tact because of 4 screws whereas Massa’s collapsed because it is only held by 2 screws to save on weight. Luciano wants the FIA to make 4 screws compulsory.
“After Felipe’s accident at the Hungaroring, I can see the helmet’s evolution since my accident in the Belgium GP 2001,” said Burti, who now commentates on F1 for Brazilian TV.
“Looking at the pictures of my helmet, we can see that if it was made of carbon fibre, like they are today, the damage would have been be less significant.
“This shows the merit of the FIA and helmet constructors on improving drivers’ safety.
“But at the same time, I would like to point something out. You can see on my helmet, even with the strong front impact against the tyre barriers, the visor remained attached because it was fixed by four screws, different than most helmets which have two screws only for visor fixing (to reduce weight).
“But on Felipe’s accident, we could see the visor became loose because the screw didn’t resist the strong impact, and with the face exposed, he could have suffered worse consequences, especially on the face and eyes.”
Luciano Burti came to Formula One in 2000, racing a single GP with the Jaguar team finishing in 11th place. The team signed him as a driver for 2001, but he was fired after just 5 races. He managed to secure a seat at Prost however when Gaston Mazzacane was released, and Burti continued racing. After the Belgian GP crash he never raced an F1 car again competitively, but worked as a test driver with Ferrari until 2004 when he conceded his injuries were too bad for him to race again.