‘We’re Not Racing’ – Sebastian Vettel’s Protest Led to Removal of Sausage Kerbs at COTA Post Horrific W-Series Crash

Published 12/18/2021, 11:50 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 9, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel arrives ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The 2021 W-Series witnessed one of the scariest crashes in the history of motorsport, and it was 29-year-old Abbie Eaton at the wheel. During a race around Circuit of The Americas, the Briton ran over a sausage kerb, which sent her car into the air.

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What followed was a nasty touchdown due to which Eaton broke her back. It wasn’t as minor as a crack, but she ended up crushing her vertebrae altogether. She is still recovering from the injury and has quite a long way to go. And this certainly doesn’t come as a shock, considering the amount of physical damage the crash caused.

Interestingly, this crash had its effects on Formula 1, with Sebastian Vettel taking on the FIA and eventually, Michael Masi, as well.

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Eaton blames the unusual sausage kerbs

During an interview with BBC, Eaton revealed that the sausage kerbs around COTA were unusually high. Hence, anyone who ran over the aggressive kerbs were highly likely to pay a heavy price. Unfortunately, for Eaton, she had to endure the worst of it.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Sausage kerbs are basically a long strip of kerb and the ones in America are like super-high, really quite aggressive,” she said.

I heard my vertebrae crush, and at that point I thought ‘OK, I know I have broken my back here’, but I was pointing up to the sky and I was thinking ‘I’ve got to land again so I hope this doesn’t get any worse’,” Eaton added.

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Eaton Lauds Sebastian Vettel for his reaction

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Eaton opened up that it was none other than Sebastian Vettel that led a group of drivers to the stewards’ office in order to demand the removal of the kerbs. This apparently came right after the crash had unfolded. Vettel had threatened Michael Masi that the drivers wouldn’t race unless the marshals retrieve the dangerous kerbs.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel gets out of the car before the start of the race due to bad weather Pool via REUTERS/John Thys

Seb basically went up to Michael Masi and said ‘we’re not racing unless you remove them’,” she said.

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Overall, it is terrible that she had suffered a broken back, which is never easy to cope with. However, the good news is that Eaton is still very much alive and is already keen on returning to racing. Hence, can the British driver pace up her recovery and make it on time for the next W-series season?

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Rohit Kumar

1643 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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