In motorsports, safety is a top consideration. In the early days of Formula One, many people were killed, both drivers and spectators, when vehicles collided at high speeds. Engineers used cutting-edge technology to develop safer vehicles and equipment for drivers. Over the previous decade, this has unquestionably decreased the number of instances. This chapter will look at the various safety equipment that drivers employ.
Helmets are required in Formula One races. Their construction is robust and light, so they don’t contribute extra weight to the driver’s head when driving at high speeds. These are also fire-resistant. Of course, the helmets must fulfill FIA requirements. The helmet is made up of numerous layers put through rigorous testing. The weight of the helmet is usually approximately 1.2 kg. F1 helmets are painted by hand, which is a unique feature.
Head and Neck Support is abbreviated as HANS. HANS is designed to protect the driver’s vertebrae and avoid head-to-steering-wheel contact in the event of an accident. It is made of carbon fiber and is fastened to the seat belt in the cockpit, and elastic straps are attached to it. After a significant crash in 1995, HANS was inducted into the FIA Hall of Fame.
F1 drivers’ attire is meant to protect them from fire incidents in the event of a crash. It’s a multilayered suite that meets NASA’s requirements.
Nomex is the most recent fiber material to be utilized in constructing F1 driver suits. Thermal testing is performed on the case, which is both fire-resistant and lightweight. The pit crew also wears the costume. Before being tested, the outfit is washed and dried many times. The suit has two grips on the shoulders that may be used to secure it to the seat. This lets the pit crew take the driver out of the car in one piece, including the center, in the event of a collision, reducing casualties. For more than 10 seconds, Nomex fiber can withstand 700-800 degrees Celsius temperatures.