Vital F1 | Innovative design improves helmet safety
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

2017 United States GP - Race (Monday October 23 2017)

Blog: Austin Qualifying (Sunday October 22 2017)

2017 United States GP - Qualifying (Sunday October 22 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP3 (Saturday October 21 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP2 (Saturday October 21 2017)

2017 United States GP - FP1 (Friday October 20 2017)

Blog: Austin Preview (Thursday October 19 2017)

Who will win in the USA? (Thursday October 19 2017)

Sauber to make huge step forward in 2018 (Wednesday October 18 2017)

Formula One wants race in Netherlands (Tuesday October 17 2017)

Toro Rosso name fourth driver of 2017 (Monday October 16 2017)

Palmer F1 career ends? (Tuesday October 10 2017)

Blog: Japanese GP Report (Monday October 9 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Race (Sunday October 8 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP3 (Saturday October 7 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP2 (Friday October 6 2017)

2017 Japan GP - FP1 (Friday October 6 2017)

Blog: Suzuka Preview (Thursday October 5 2017)

Who will win in Japan? (Tuesday October 3 2017)

More woe for Ferrari (Monday October 2 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Race (Sunday October 1 2017)

Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP3 (Saturday September 30 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP2 (Friday September 29 2017)

2017 Malaysia GP - FP1 (Friday September 29 2017)

Blog: Sepang Preview (Thursday September 28 2017)

New deals for Mercedes and Force India (Wednesday September 27 2017)

Leclerc lands F1 seat (Tuesday September 26 2017)

Who will win in Malaysia? (Monday September 25 2017)

A messy McLaren Honda divorce (Thursday September 21 2017)

Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 18 2017)

2017 Singapore GP Race (Sunday September 17 2017)

Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP3 (Saturday September 16 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP2 (Friday September 15 2017)

2017 Singapore GP - FP1 (Friday September 15 2017)

Red Bull duo looking forward to Singapore (Thursday September 14 2017)

Blog: Singapore Preview (Wednesday September 13 2017)

Who will win in Singapore? (Monday September 11 2017)

Ferrari embarrassed by home soil defeat (Thursday September 7 2017)

2017 Italy GP - Race (Sunday September 3 2017)

Hamilton breaks all-time record (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP3 (Saturday September 2 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP2 (Friday September 1 2017)

2017 Italy GP - FP1 (Friday September 1 2017)

F1 Musical chairs starts and ends early (Friday September 1 2017)

Blog: Monza Preview (Wednesday August 30 2017)

Who will win in Italy? (Tuesday August 29 2017)

Blog: Belgian GP Report (Monday August 28 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - Race (Sunday August 27 2017)

Blog: Spa Qualifying (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - Qualifying (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP3 (Saturday August 26 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP2 (Friday August 25 2017)

2017 Belgium GP - FP1 (Friday August 25 2017)

Kimi gets new Ferrari contract (Thursday August 24 2017)

F1 Prediction Comp open for Belgium (Wednesday August 23 2017)

Who will win in Belgium? (Wednesday August 23 2017)

Blog: Spa Preview (Tuesday August 22 2017)

Is Formula E a threat to Formula One? (Wednesday August 16 2017)

F1 to introduce standardised parts? (Monday August 14 2017)

Sainz fake news (Saturday August 12 2017)

Hungaroring set for revamp (Wednesday August 9 2017)

Drivers mixed on Halo introduction (Monday August 7 2017)

Sauber ditch Honda for Ferrari (Thursday August 3 2017)

Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Wednesday August 2 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - Race (Sunday July 30 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 29 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP3 (Saturday July 29 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP2 (Friday July 28 2017)

2017 Hungarian GP - FP1 (Friday July 28 2017)

Halo will debut in F1 in 2018 (Friday July 28 2017)

Blog: Hungaroring Preview (Thursday July 27 2017)

Cosworth to return to Formula One? (Wednesday July 26 2017)

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. DJ 1178
2. Red5 1125
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 601
6. Druss_the_Legend 596
7. Push The Button 512
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 217
10. VanGisbergen2013 179

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who will win in Mexico?
Hamilton 100%
Vettel 0%
Verstappen 0%
Ricciardo 0%
Bottas 0%
Raikkonen 0%
Someone else 0%