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So how badly is Ralf injured?

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by Cincy Ken, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Cincy Ken

    Cincy Ken Karting

    Jan 24, 2004
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    As usual, the press releases are pretty vague about specifics. From what I've read thus far, there are no broken bones, he's bruised, he's in pain, and his condition is stable.

    But other reports say that he hit the wall around 190 mph, will be held in the hospital for several days "for observation," and may choose to sit out the French GP. I have to believe that with that impact, he must have a fair amount of internal trauma.

    Any docs or racers out there with some insight into this? Do we know enough about Rubens's 180 mph (or so) crash at Imola 10 years ago to draw any conclusions?

    I just suspect that it's worse than reported.
     
  2. F355Bvc

    F355Bvc Formula 3
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    According to report on Motorsport.com Ralf was released from the hospital today, mon, and flew home. He will not test with the team this week and it will be his decision weather to drive in France. He has a bruised back and shoulders. Crash was caused by tire failure.
     
  3. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    Ken,

    I have a feeling that Ralf's injuries are similar to what happened to Nigel M when he backed it into the wall in Phx his rookie season in CART Indy cars.

    He had severe bruising and swelling in his lower back area afer he lost it going in to turn 1 spun and then blasted a hole in the wall with the back of his car. nigel at the time was turning laps in the 180MPH range sub 20 seconds on the 1 mile oval.

    Beast
     
  4. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    I think it hurt and he was very, very lucky.

    Pete
     
  5. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    No conclusions can be drawn by that comparison because Ruben's accident was completely different from Ralf's.

    Rubens' accident Imola '94: hits rumble strip during fast corner, loses downforce and is launched into the air. While still flying above the ground, impacts at 45 degrees nose first into tyre barrier; car rebounds upwards half a meter or so into air again while still moving forward to some extent, then rotates 90 degrees downwards and falls nose first into grass, then rotates about its axis and rolls 3 times, ending upside down.

    Ralf's accident Indianapolis '04: Rear left tyre failure, spins out of control and impacts backwards at 90 degrees into concrete barrier, rebounding off wall and sliding for several hundred meters down track before coming to a stop.
     
  6. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I saw a picture of MS and Corinna leaving the hospital and they were in a very upbeat mood, so I wouldn't think too much about Ralf's condition.

    He was taken to the hospital primarily for x-rays. Bruising and swelling is normal. The reason for him sitting out the test drives and potentially the French GP is the trauma on the brain:

    When you have an impact like that, all the tiny blood vessels attaching the brain to the skull rupture (or some at least). That by itself isn't such a big deal, as they grow back. It only becomes a serious problem, if it happens again within short time. Hence the break from testing.

    No, I'm not a doctor, not even playing one on TV. So don't take this too seriously...
    :)
     
  7. F40Lover

    F40Lover Karting

    Mar 28, 2004
    203
    The most important thing after a crash like that is that the driver is alive. Any of us that have been involved in racing know the risks involved, it is part of the game. After all Michael and Ralf are brothers and I too would have much concern after seeing a crash like that ( I did not see the race, had to do a double shift :( at work). After any crash the body is in a massive shock from one end to the other literally. Depending in the impact area in the car and the first part of the body to take the G Force change results in which area takes the most pounding. We can all be glad that the high tech that goes into the saftey aspect of these cars keeps the driver as safe as possible. At those speeds it happens so fast there is not much you can do except "ride it out". Any of you there who are racing, spend your time researching what is the best saftey set up for your car and then ask around and make the effort to make it perfect and I always add extra bracing around the body area if possible. You can rebuild the car anytime, your body takes longer and its harder to find replacement parts!!
     
  8. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    "At the moment I don't think so," Schuamcher said of his plans to compete in the tenth race of the season at Magny-Cours in central France on July 4.

    "The important thing now is that I rest," the 28-year-old said on his website. "In principle I should be behind the wheel as soon as possible. But the example of my accident during testing in September (2003) showed that you can't take anything for granted. My priority is to get fit again."

    Schumacher added: "I feel as if I've done two rounds with Muhammad Ali. But I don't want there to be any misunderstanding. I'm not in shock, I don't have psychological problems. I just have concussion."

    Source AFP

    My thoughts are that you will see him return stronger than ever... Hopefully Williams will get their sorry act together by the time he gets back.
     
  9. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Allegedly it wasn't a broken suspension but a piece of carbon fibre that sliced his tire, so not really Williams' fault (if you mentioned that).

    Along these lines I was wondering, whether the departure of Patrick Head is showing its effects by their disqualification in Canada and the non starting JPM car at Indy?
     
  10. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
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    I think Ralph is extremely lucky to have hit the wall backwards instead of head on. I'm not a doctor either but I would imagine his head went back and hit the seat of the car. If he would have hit nose first his head would have been able to snap forward a good bit as well as the shock to his legs. It sure was eary seeing him sliding down the track and not moving. I'm glad he's OK.
     
  11. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    I was not blaming Williams for Ralf's accident. But I am laming Williams for not being on pace this year. Ralf deserved to get a faster car than what he has got all year. The Williams team have been slower than BAR and the Renaults most of the season.

    As for the disqualification in Canada, I don't care what they said in the press or to the media. The fact of the materr is the bugger the braking ducts the better cooling the brakes recieve. The track in Canada is especially hard on the brakes. Williams did that on purpose to enance performace. You just don't produce braking ducts for 7 races in a row that meet regulations and then all of a sudden stop meeting regulation in the 8th race.

    As for JPM being black flagged, I think it was that idiot's own fault. Every driver in F1 has the resposibility and duty to know the rules of the sport he is racing in. Juan Pablo the Midget Montoya does not deserve to be in F1. he does not even know the rules of F1. Then he gets mad for being black flagged. He deserves to recieve a 10 Grand Prix Driving ban for causing that safety risk. The reason for that rule partially is to ensure safety on the track. You don't just start simply running around the track when cars are moving.
     
  12. macca

    macca Formula Junior

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    The structure of the faired headrest behind an F1 driver's head is shock-absorbent, like the side protection humps around the cockpit opening, so hitting the wall backwards is the best outcome RS could have had.

    The HANS device that they wear is to stop the head hitting the chest (or even the steering-wheel if the belts stretch) to prevent major neck or brainstem trauma, which IIRC what happened to Earnhart, but a frontal impact at that speed would still have been much worse, apart from the likelihood of leg injury.


    Paul M
     
  13. JonBrent

    JonBrent Formula Junior

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    FWIW, there are several outlets reporting Ralf has memory loss of the accident. I don't know if this is typical for incidents of that type or media hype, but it certainly speaks to some level of brain trauma. Good thing there are two weeks between races this time - plenty of time for rest before making a decision.

    It did seem like a long time for the rescue trucks to arrive.

    Cheers,
    Jon
     
  14. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    I have been in several bad accidents and don't remember anything about them including a few seconds before the accident. The last one didn't even knock me out (tho I did quite the lump) and I have no recollection of the event.
     
  15. bmiller411

    bmiller411 Formula Junior

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  16. JonBrent

    JonBrent Formula Junior

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    Korr - I was thinking that, as I have been in a bad accident also where I lost a couple of seconds (saw it coming, and not my fault - really!). Woke up sitting in glass on the side of the road, pretty disoriented.

    All of my other memory losses were women and booze related ...
     
  17. mikeivan

    mikeivan Rookie

    Feb 25, 2004
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    I would think his doctors would be monitoring for internal bleeding, in addition to cranial bleeding. Not only his brain, but Ralf's stomach, spleen, heart and other organs were also traveling at 190 before being abruptly halted. The external bruises and concussion are the obvious signs, the internal stuff is more subtle and could be more dangerous. I would not stray far from a hospital with MRI and emergency surgery, if it were me. No racing for a month is my prediction. I hope he has a full recovery. In spite of the recently published F1 whitewash, over three minutes without ANY emergency assistance is inexcuseable, IMHO.
     
  18. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

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    I'm glad to hear Ralf is fine.
    Some say he will not race at the French GP. If that happens who will drive for Williams? Pizzonia or Gene?
     
  19. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    Jacques Villeneuve!
     
  20. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    I was thinking just that. Who knows. Would make a lot more sense than Gene.
     
  21. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

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    I feel bad for you because someday Michael Schumacher is going to stop driving. I guess there will be nothing in F1 that you find attractive.

    Anyway. Andreas, I too was thinking that Patrick Head must be laughing back at home. First the brake ducts - then the problem on the grid. I don't think its a coincidence Williams has been disqualified twice (or maybe three times) in two races since Patrick Head was demoted.

    Andy
     
  22. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    Man JV coming back would probably be such a boost to the sport. He deserves to be driving n F1 car instead of Kamakazee Sato or the Midget Montoya.
     
  23. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Actually I'm not sure that's what happened: I thought Patrick moved up/on on his own free will. After all he owns about a third of Williams (not sure about that either, but that's what I heard). I think he figured it was time to do something else/better and travel less. I never thought it was a forced demotion.

    So I don't think he is at home laughing, I rather see him throw his telephone into the TV and scream at the top of his lungs about the bloody incompetence reigning in his team.

    At any rate, it does look to me like the current technical director is outwitted by the challenge.
     
  24. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    I have to agree. he must have been furious! Ralf certainly deserves much better than what he has got from the Williams team. I mean imagine getting onto the podium... and then being disqualified because someone in Williams wanted to get some extra brake cooling by increasing the size of ducts. Someone probably thought they were the sneakiest or smartest people in the world. Poor Ralf got the short end of the stick! Sir Frank Williams should have apologized to Ralf and renewed his contract on Ralfs terms right there and then.
     
  25. tuttebenne

    tuttebenne F1 Rookie

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    The way I heard it, you're right, he has part ownership in the team. But there have been accounts of him not working well with sponsors and not being a people person. The timing of his move is questionable. If he had such an interest in the team and knew the replacement would be of questionable effectiveness, why would he decide the best thing to do was to leave on his own? No I don't buy it - he was pushed out.
     

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