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Why are they wanted, key security options

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Fireplace was an excessive hazard within the first few many years of System 1, and drivers have been steadily trapped within the burning wreckage of their automobile. Fireplace safety has thus been a key focus in security, and the race fits have modified through the years to present drivers a greater likelihood at survival. 

Jackie Stewart was instrumental in pushing for extra security measures in F1 after racing in a few of the sequence’ most harmful years. The three-time world champion’s marketing campaign helped introduce a number of security options, together with full-face helmets and seatbelts for the drivers, in addition to serving to to develop a specialised medical unit which attend every race, security obstacles and larger run-off areas. 

Drivers must be comfy of their race fits and never constrained by heavy and inflexible materials, in addition to making certain it offers final safety in a possible accident. The swimsuit additionally must maintain the driving force at a cushty temperature, ensuring that they don’t get too scorching too rapidly, as this will have an effect on their efficiency.  

Every driver is required to put on a race swimsuit, underwear, gloves, boots and a helmet, which hasn’t modified a lot for the reason that Sixties. Nevertheless, driver clothes is now way more technologically superior and offers drivers with the next stage of security. 

The FIA are responsible for enforcing safety measures and usually evaluate the rules surrounding driver clothes. Each 8860 (helmets) and 8856 (clothes) rules have been reviewed and up to date the final couple of years and have been accepted once more for 2024. 

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Parts of F1 drivers race put on

Race swimsuit

A race swimsuit – in any other case often known as overalls – is primarily liable for providing hearth safety to the drivers while additionally remaining light-weight and comfy. Overalls have been made necessary by the FIA in 1963 and by 1975, they wanted to satisfy particular fire-resistant requirements. 

The FIA have a set of rules for all driver clothes – often known as 8856-2018 – which specifies that the swimsuit needs to be multi functional piece and have shoulder handles, in case a driver needs to be extracted from their automobile. Every race swimsuit additionally options an expiry date embroidered into the neck to make sure they provide most safety to a driver. The date was as soon as printed within the overalls, however this may very well be worn or burnt away so a extra fire-resistant choice was launched. 

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Workforce

Photograph by: Erik Junius

The know-how of overalls has come a good distance for the reason that early Sixties and now every race swimsuit is made from a light-weight and breathable materials that’s coated with fire-resistant Nomex – a flame-resistant fibre. They’re all examined to make it possible for they’ll stand up to warmth as much as 600-800 levels for over 11 seconds, which additionally applies to the fits’ zips and stretch panels to ensure drivers are protected against hearth. 

Every set of overalls comes with close-fitting wrists and ankles, in addition to a excessive collar and a flap masking the complete zip, to maintain flames away from the driving force. A race swimsuit is tailored to every driver, with most preferring one thing shut becoming, nonetheless, drivers like Jacques Villeneuve most well-liked a baggier swimsuit as a result of he discovered it extra comfy. 

The swimsuit options stretch panels or an extended again to make sure the driving force is comfy when sat in a automobile, with the entrance normally shorter to stop it pulling when below a seat belt. The overalls are additionally made from a lighter materials to assist the drivers transfer simply, in addition to being breathable to permit physique warmth and extra sweat to flee, making a driver much less susceptible to warmth exhaustion. 

A swimsuit now weighs round 750g which is a stark distinction from the older fits which used to weigh round 2kg. Overalls are not embroidered with patches to assist with the burden and motion, with sponsors now printed on the fire-resistant outer layer. 


A helmet is without doubt one of the most necessary security measures in System 1 and was made necessary in 1952. There have been continuous updates to helmet know-how together with to the powerful outer shell and the updates to the impression absorbent insides.  

Within the early days of the championship drivers solely wore fabric caps and goggles, which did little to guard drivers, earlier than cork helmets have been then launched. Helmets have come a good distance, with the invention of Nomex, the addition of visors and ultimately full-face helmets to extend the safety of a driver. 

Helmets include a carbon fibre outer shell with a foam liner and fireproof lining, that are stringently examined towards impression resistance and hearth, to make sure they supply most safety to drivers. The FIA regulates helmet security below the 8860-2018 guidelines which have additionally impacted different race classes that are managed by the governing physique. 

Helmet of Lando Norris, McLaren

Helmet of Lando Norris, McLaren

Photograph by: Lando Norris

A key security change made to the 2018 rules was variations to the eye-port measurement and visor overlap. The brand new helmet modifications got here into power following an accident with Felipe Massa in 2009, when a spring got here free from the again of Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn automobile and hit the entrance of the Ferrari driver’s helmet. Though the helmet took many of the impression, Massa was knocked unconscious and wanted surgical procedure to suit a metallic plate into his cranium. 

The FIA then launched a Zylon strip to assist reinforce the overlap between the visor and helmet, adopted by new guidelines to make the visor opening smaller and reinforce the realm across the eye-port.  

Helmets beforehand featured a tube going into the helmet in the course of the Seventies and 80s that was hooked up to a medicated fuel provide, to assist a driver breath in the event that they have been trapped in a hearth. With modifications being made to security, these tubes have been not fitted into the automobile or have been required as a part of the rules. 


Gloves present some key security options, together with hearth safety and biometric capabilities. Every glove is created from the fire-resistant Nomex materials and offers drivers with tactile suggestions from the silicone grips on the steering wheel. 

Biometric gloves have been first launched in 2018, similtaneously the Halo function on the automobile. The security function displays the driving force’s situation following a crash. Every glove is fitted with a 3mm thick sensor which transmits information on a driver’s pulse and blood oxygen ranges again to their groups. 

The biometric information additionally offers the medical staff details about the driving force’s situation if they should rapidly extract them from the automobile following an accident. For instance, the restoration staff would possibly select to bypass some restoration procedures to get a driver free extra rapidly to have the ability to stabilise their respiration or coronary heart price. 

Gloves with elevated hearth safety have been launched in 2021 following Romain Grosjean’s crash on the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. The Haas driver went by the barrier and ended up spending 29 seconds inside a fireball earlier than managing to flee with extreme burns to his palms however was largely unscathed, due to the security gadgets on his automobile and swimsuit. 

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, puts on his crash helmet and gloves ahead of FP1

Valtteri Bottas, Stake F1 Workforce Kick Sauber, places on his crash helmet and gloves forward of FP1

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Following the accident, the FIA started taking a look at methods to enhance security and started trialling gloves that might give extra hearth safety in an identical incident. Improved gloves have been trialled on the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, which allowed an additional 1.5 seconds of fireside resistance. 


Boots should additionally supply a level of fireside security, nonetheless, that is considerably compromised to make sure that the drivers have as a lot suggestions from the pedals as potential. In newer years, the boots have turn into extra of a sock fashion with a skinny rubber sole, as an alternative of the older leather-based or suede fashion. 

The boots have a flat sole to maximise really feel by the pedals and, in moist circumstances, you’ll usually see drivers having the soles of their sneakers dried earlier than moving into the automobile to maximise grip.  


Beneath the race swimsuit, a driver shall be sporting a fireproof underwear layer which should even be compliant to the FIA rules and is made from Nomex. They’re now made from a breathable, moisture-wicking materials, to maintain drivers comfy in excessive warmth.  

Every underwear layer consists of a protracted sleeve high, bottoms – which look just like lengthy johns – and socks, which overlap one another so as to add an extra layer of fireside safety. Drivers may even put on a balaclava over their head, which provides safety to components of their faces that may be uncovered by their helmets.  

Beforehand drivers opted to put on a balaclava with two eye holes however in newer years for security, however now a single eye gap is extra most well-liked. The added layer of safety will usually cowl their noses and mouths, with a gap stitched into every balaclava for a ingesting tube which permits a driver to remain hydrated throughout a race. 


The Head and Neck Help (HANS) system was made obligatory in 2003 and is the ultimate ingredient of a driver’s race gear. The system limits the motion of a driver’s head and neck contained in the automobile to assist forestall damage in the event that they crash.  

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari helmet and HANS device

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari helmet and HANS system

Photograph by: Sutton Photographs

The HANS connects to the helmet and is secured by the seatbelts, which helps anchor it onto the carbon fibre collar, which prevents hyperextending – which is the main explanation for demise in racing and is the results of a basal cranium fracture. Roland Ratzenberger suffered a deadly cranium fracture at Imola in 1994, which was a consequence of simply sporting a security harness with an unrestrained head. 

With no HANS system, the harness pulled shoulders again, forcing a driver’s neck to be stretched. This could create stress between the cranium, neck and shoulders with accidents exacerbated by the helmet, which provides further weight to the top.

These days if a driver is in a frontal collision, then the HANS system will cut back the ahead movement of a driver’s head and cut back the pressure on their neck, fully eliminating the chance of hyperextending.

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