Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Innovative design improves helmet safety

Motor Racing helmet suppliers Arai have developed an innovative new helmet to improve safety in Formula One.

Following Felipe Massa’s accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, the vulnerability of the driver in this type of incident was highlighted. See BBC archive video.

Massa suffered a fractured skull when he hit a spring that had fallen off of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car. Barrichello’s Brawn had suffered a failure in its rear suspension, which left a spring bouncing down the track.

Massa’s Ferrari travelling at over 160mph at the time of impact hit the spring just four second later, leaving the Brazilian unconscious as he hurtled towards turn four. Luckily as he fell unconscious Massa’s feet fell on both the accelerator and the brake pedals, slowing the car down to 60mph as he hit the tyre barrier.

Massa’s life was saved by the carbon-fibre helmet he was wearing which had seen large steps forward in safety in recent years and Arai have now developed the next step.

The new helmet includes a Zylon visor strip across the exact area where the spring struck Massa along the area where the visor and helmet shell meet.

Measuring 50mm half overlaps the visor itself and the other half extends above the helmet shell edge, ensuring extra protection to the weakest part of the helmet without restricting driver vision.

“In tests we found that Zylon was better than carbon fibre for this application as it offers better energy-absorbing qualities. Our goal for the visor was to get the best performance-to-weight ratio for whatever material we chose. We’ve added about 70 grams to the visor, but we have doubled its impact performance.” FIA Institute technical adviser Andy Mellor told formula1.com.

The next phase for helmet safety will come from research from The FIA Institute and helmet manufacturers.

They are currently researching transparent ceramics and the use of high-performance optical materials to improve the visor itself.








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 31 2011

Time: 2:00PM

Your Comments

such clever stuff these days, certainly they do all they can to make it as safe as is humanely possible. Still must take balls of steel to get in one of those cars and do the speeds they do!
The Fear
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Ferrari to take another step forward (Wednesday April 22 2015)

Ferrari to keep Kimi waiting (Tuesday April 21 2015)

Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 20 2015)

2015 - Bahrain GP - Race (Sunday April 19 2015)

Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 18 2015)

2015 - Bahrain GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 18 2015)

2015 - Bahrain GP - FP3 (Saturday April 18 2015)

2015 - Bahrain GP - FP2 (Friday April 17 2015)

2015 - Bahrain GP - FP1 (Friday April 17 2015)

Rosberg hits reset button (Thursday April 16 2015)

Blog: Sakhir Preview (Thursday April 16 2015)

Merc set for team-orders? (Wednesday April 15 2015)

Ferrari can win the title says Kimi (Wednesday April 15 2015)

Who will win in Bahrain? (Tuesday April 14 2015)

Blog: Chinese GP Report (Sunday April 12 2015)

2015 - China GP - Race (Sunday April 12 2015)

Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 11 2015)

2015 - China GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 11 2015)

2015 - China GP - FP3 (Saturday April 11 2015)

2015 - China GP - FP2 (Friday April 10 2015)

2015 - China GP - FP1 (Friday April 10 2015)

Blog: Shanghai Preview (Wednesday April 8 2015)

Points will flow for Lotus? (Tuesday April 7 2015)

Who will win in China? (Tuesday April 7 2015)

Manor Marussia on track to recovery (Thursday April 2 2015)

Audio: Post Malaysia (Wednesday April 1 2015)

All options open for Renault (Tuesday March 31 2015)

Blog: Malaysian GP Report (Monday March 30 2015)

2015 - Mal GP - Race (Sunday March 29 2015)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday March 28 2015)

2015 - Mal GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 28 2015)

2015 - Mal GP - FP3 (Saturday March 28 2015)

2015 - Mal GP - FP2 (Friday March 27 2015)

2015 - Mal GP - FP1 (Friday March 27 2015)

Bottas to avoid surgery (Thursday March 26 2015)

Alonso clears up mystery crash (Thursday March 26 2015)

Alonso and Bottas cleared to drive (Thursday March 26 2015)

Blog: Sepang Preview (Wednesday March 25 2015)

New Hamilton deal all but agreed (Wednesday March 25 2015)

Bottas hopeful of return (Tuesday March 24 2015)

Alonso to travel to Malaysia (Monday March 23 2015)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Thursday March 19 2015)

2015 - Aus GP - Race result (Sunday March 15 2015)

Blog: Australian GP Report (Sunday March 15 2015)

Blog: Melbourne Qualifying (Saturday March 14 2015)

2015 - Aus GP - Qualifying result (Saturday March 14 2015)

2015 - Aus GP - FP3 result (Saturday March 14 2015)

Van der Garde drops Sauber dispute (Saturday March 14 2015)

Sauber boss could face prison (Friday March 13 2015)

2015 - Aus GP - FP2 result (Friday March 13 2015)

2015 - Aus GP - FP1 result (Friday March 13 2015)

Jordan to auction cars for charity (Thursday March 12 2015)

Blog: Melbourne Preview (Thursday March 12 2015)

Sauber lose van der Garde appeal (Thursday March 12 2015)

Hass will be ready for 2016 debut (Wednesday March 11 2015)

Hamilton resists Ferrari approaches (Tuesday March 10 2015)

2015 Formula One Drivers (Tuesday March 10 2015)

2014 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday March 10 2015)

2014 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday March 10 2015)

Marussia cleared to race (Friday March 6 2015)

Lotus pleased with steps forward (Friday March 6 2015)

Alonso woke up in 1995 (Friday March 6 2015)

Alonso to miss out on Australia (Wednesday March 4 2015)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 1049
2. DJ 946
3. The Fear 771
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 581
6. Druss_the_Legend 535
7. Push The Button 451
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 159
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Will Hamilton remain with Mercedes?
Yes 59%
No - Move to Ferrari 41%
No - Move elsewhere 0%