Reading an article on the explanation of Alonso's crash last weekend, I seemed a bit puzzled at their description: "the accident was caused by the unpredictably gusty winds at that part of the circuit at that time, and which had affected other drivers similarly." "The data also showed the car had no loss of aerodynamic pressure nor was there any electrical discharge or irregularity in the ERS (energy recovery) system before, during or after the incident." ""Our data clearly shows that he was downshifting while applying full brake pressure right up to the moment of the first impact -- something that clearly would not have been possible had he been unconscious at the time."
So it's clear that driver error and gusty winds caused the accident. But how does wind cause problems for a car that's running at 200-300 kph? There's probably some science to this, so I put this in the In-Depth forum. The whole crash seems a bit odd to be honest.
As far as I know Alonso wasn't unconscious at any time during, before or after the crash. In fact, he was speaking with the doctors when he was airlifted.
From what I'm getting at, it looks like Alonso simply ran off the track, turned in a little sharply, and crashed into the wall. I'm calling driver error here. (Oddly enough, the F1 website turned out to be the source where I got that info)
I still don't know why gusty winds would have an impact on a cars performance, though.
F1 cars are designed so air flows straight around them from the front, yet the side surface area does remain quite large with a number of very flat vertical surfaces to catch a cross wind. Given their weight, significant wind can definitely move a car across the track and even upset its balance - which likely led to Alonso's driver error. Normally, it's not an issue, but at Barcelona (and at that corner) it has been in the past. Definitely a strange one!
_________________ [ KimiRaikkonen ] 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers Champion
That makes a lot more sense. Never thought of that before. I guess the sidepods act like a bit of a sail sometimes. Not much you really can do about the winds in Barca. As you said, definitely a strange one!