Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux
I agree it's no place to run a F1 race, but for other races it's perfectly safe. If there are accidents where someone gets hurt, it's mostly incompetent bikers. And anytime you let inexperienced people on a racetrack, accidents will always happen. It's unavoidable because it's part of human nature.
I disagree that the track is perfectly safe. I'm not sure on what basis you can even make that claim considering that the track has about a dozen fatalities a year.
I also disagree that it's unavoidable because of "human nature". I've been on numerous raceways including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sears Point, and the 'Ring itself, and BY FAR, the Ring is the most poorly designed when it comes to safety.
When I was there in 2002, I probably witnessed at least 3-4 close calls over a 2 hour time span. In 2007, I saw an E46 M3 (looked track prepped) go wide into the railing because of oil on the track, which is a common occurrence actually. I mean seriously, how much time have you spent on the 'Ring? I have a hard time believing someone who has actually driven on it considers it a "perfectly safe" track.
It's completely unforgiving, you miss a turn, there's no run-off, you're going to crash. You add the fact that 90% of these bends are blind, with some happening over elevation changes, and you have dramatically increased your chances for a second accident. You combine these conditions, then you add wetness which reduces grip considerably, then you add the pressure of reducing lap times, and it's a recipe for disaster. Seriously, spend some time on a modern race track, and then compare your experience to the 'Ring, it's night and day. When you strip away the glamour, and nostalgia, the 'Ring is a dangerous, old, not very well maintained, track.
Like I said, there's a reason why major motorsport orgs started looking away from the 'Ring as a place to hold major races. It's dangerous, and it's bad publicity having a driver get killed. You may think it has "nothing to do" with the recent financial problems, but I disagree. The financial problems with the 'Ring started a long time ago, before they began taking loans to revamp the site.