Feb.18 (GMM) F1’s foremost champions of safety have slammed the governing body of the winter Olympic sport luge.
After young Georgian competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a violent crash at the Vancouver games last week, Max Mosley and Sir Jackie Stewart blamed the safety standards of the high speed sport.
“The International Luge Federation (FIL) is where formula one was 40 years ago — the whole mindset is wrong,” Mosley, the former long-time president of F1’s governing FIA, told The Times.
Mosley hit out at FIL and Canadian Olympic officials’ attempt to say driver error caused the crash, in which the 21-year-old died of head injuries after he left the luge course and struck a metal girder.
“Instead of seeking to blame an accident on driver error, they should be seeking to minimise the probability than an error will lead to a tragedy,” said the Briton.
Former triple world champion Stewart said the sport has been lucky not to suffer more serious injuries and deaths.
“Clearly it was almost impossible for the luger to miss hitting one of the metal girders on the edge of the racing line because of the angle at which he came off,” said the Scot.
“Had it been motor sport, there would have been a debris fence to stop a sled or a rider from coming into contact with those sort of structures,” Stewart added.