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Formula 1 (F1) drivers are getting concerned. Recently, Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari and George Russell of Mercedes-AMG Petronas voiced worries over neck and back pain related to the cars’ enhanced handling. However, the latest concerns come from Fernando Alonso of Alpine. He is adamant that the cars could be dangerous, especially after the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix spectacle involving a car breaking in half. 

What happened at the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix?

At the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, Mick Schumacher of the Haas F1 Team had a crash so violent that the car broke in half. While the impact wasn’t any more kinetic than incidents of years past, the Haas F1 clearly broke into two sections. 

A Haas car breaking in half at the Monaco Grand Prix
The Haas F1 car breaking in half | Christian Bruna, Getty Images

As a result, officials had to red flag the race and wheel the two separate portions off the track. Fernando Alonso and other onlookers are concerned that the cars may be pointing to a bigger problem: the vehicles’ weight. 

Why are cars breaking in half concerning F1 driver Fernando Alonso?

Before the season started, F1 authorities announced that the cars would be heavier than in previous seasons. Specifically, most F1 cars on the grid weigh in at around 800 kg (1,760 lbs). While this may not seem like a cause for concern at a glance, it has a hidden danger.

F1 cars breaking in half at Monaco
An official stands next to the crash with Mick Schumacher | Christian Bruna, Getty Images

Alonso says that the heavy vehicles are prone to breaking in half, just like what happened to Mick Schumacher and his Haas car in Monaco. “The accident we saw was very serious,” Alonso told Autoweek. Alonso, one of the more tenured drivers in the field, is driving a car almost 200 kg (440 lbs) heavier than the first car he drove in 2001. He maintains that the forces and added heft of the vehicles make them more prone to snap in half in crashes.

Is the Monaco Grand Prix the first time spectators saw F1 cars breaking in half?

Monaco wasn’t even the first time a car broke into sections this season. Mick Schumacher’s car smashed into two pieces in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, too. If anything else, officials will have to pay attention that the same driver broke his car into two sections twice in one season. 

Fernando Alonso is worried about F1 cars breaking in half like in Jeddah
The Jeddah, Saudi Arabia crash | Clive Mason, Getty Images

Is F1 going to do anything about it? 

Alonso wants the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to pay attention. He says that “they [the cars] are very heavy, currently more than 800 kilograms, so the inertia when they hit the wall is much higher than before.” If officials don’t heed the two-time world champion’s concerns, there is a chance a similar crash could happen soon. 

Are the cars dangerous? 

Although a race car breaking in half is quite a spectacle, it isn’t an indicator that the sport is too dangerous. The first car Alonso drove back in his 2001 F1 debut was much lighter than today’s cars and much more dangerous. The vehicles that Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, and Jackie Stewart once drove had little to no safety features compared to today’s advanced race cars. 

Still, when drivers like Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, and George Russell voice their concerns, officials should listen. The great Niki Lauda expressed his reservations before taking the grid at the Nürburgring, and we all know how that story goes. 

If you want to read more about Carlos Sainz and his concerns, scroll down to the following article!

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