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

Five-year plan for Haas? Survival (Friday October 24 2014)

Caterham saga: Fernandes hits out (Friday October 24 2014)

Caterham on brink of turmoil (Thursday October 23 2014)

Sam Michael to quit F1 (Thursday October 23 2014)

Hulkenberg to stay with Force India (Tuesday October 21 2014)

Pirelli change selection for Brazil (Tuesday October 21 2014)

Blog: Mercedes reaps what it sows (Monday October 20 2014)

Vettel set to pay the penalty (Friday October 17 2014)

Caterham remain bullish (Friday October 17 2014)

Rosberg can swing momentum (Thursday October 16 2014)

Lotus dump Renault for Mercedes (Wednesday October 15 2014)

Button does not need to prove himself (Wednesday October 15 2014)

Hamilton contract talks on hold (Tuesday October 14 2014)

Mercedes win F1 constructors title (Tuesday October 14 2014)

Bianchi will not give up (Tuesday October 14 2014)

Pirelli make final selections (Monday October 13 2014)

Blog: Russian GP Report (Monday October 13 2014)

2014 - Russia - Race (Sunday October 12 2014)

Blog: Sochi Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)

2014 - Russia - Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)

2014 - Russia - FP3 (Saturday October 11 2014)

2014 - Russia - FP2 (Friday October 10 2014)

Kvyat excited by home race (Friday October 10 2014)

Marussia to run one car in Russia (Friday October 10 2014)

2014 - Russia - FP1 (Friday October 10 2014)

Who will win in Russia (Thursday October 9 2014)

Bianchi family thankful for support (Wednesday October 8 2014)

Driver reaction from Suzuka (Tuesday October 7 2014)

Results in Japan inconsequential (Tuesday October 7 2014)

McLaren & Mercedes deny Alonso deals (Monday October 6 2014)

Blog: Japanese GP Report (Sunday October 5 2014)

Thoughts with Bianchi (Sunday October 5 2014)

2014 - Japan - Race (Sunday October 5 2014)

Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Sunday October 5 2014)

2014 - Japan - Qualifying (Saturday October 4 2014)

What next for Alonso? (Saturday October 4 2014)

Vettel to replace Alonso at Ferrari (Saturday October 4 2014)

2014 - Japan - FP3 (Saturday October 4 2014)

2014 - Japan - FP2 (Friday October 3 2014)

2014 - Japan - FP1 (Friday October 3 2014)

Typhoon warning for Suzuka (Thursday October 2 2014)

Stevens to get F1 drive (Thursday October 2 2014)

Bailiffs seize goods at Caterham (Thursday October 2 2014)

Verstappen turns 17 and gets F1 drive (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Mercedes identify Rosberg fault (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Who will win in Japan? (Monday September 29 2014)

Button hints at new deal (Thursday September 25 2014)

No imminent announcement for McLaren (Wednesday September 24 2014)

Magnussen denies burns (Tuesday September 23 2014)

Red Bull not giving up on long shot (Tuesday September 23 2014)

Singapore swings in Hamilton's favour (Monday September 22 2014)

Will reliability decide the F1 title? (Monday September 22 2014)

Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 22 2014)

2014 - Singapore - Race (Sunday September 21 2014)

Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Sunday September 21 2014)

2014 - Singapore - Qualifying (Saturday September 20 2014)

2014 - Singapore - FP3 (Saturday September 20 2014)

2014 - Singapore - FP2 (Friday September 19 2014)

2014 - Singapore - FP1 (Friday September 19 2014)

Alonso angered by Italian rumour mill (Friday September 19 2014)

Massa & Chilton raise radio ban concerns (Friday September 19 2014)

Renault aiming to optimise performance (Thursday September 18 2014)

Rosberg & Hamilton hope to gain advantage (Thursday September 18 2014)

FIA clarify new radio rules (Wednesday September 17 2014)

Lotus finances improving (Wednesday September 17 2014)

Williams want to become title contenders (Tuesday September 16 2014)

Prodromou completes McLaren switch (Tuesday September 16 2014)

Radio ban not clear says Mercedes (Monday September 15 2014)

Who will win the Singapore Grand Prix? (Monday September 15 2014)

F1 radio clamp down (Friday September 12 2014)

Massa needed podium finish (Thursday September 11 2014)

Button enjoyed Perez battle (Thursday September 11 2014)

Schumacher returns home (Wednesday September 10 2014)

Di Montezemolo steps down (Wednesday September 10 2014)

Di Montezemolo criticised by Fiat boss (Tuesday September 9 2014)

Albers quits Caterham (Tuesday September 9 2014)

Williams maximise performance (Monday September 8 2014)

Hamilton deserved victory says Rosberg (Monday September 8 2014)

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 1024
2. DJ 895
3. The Fear 771
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 571
6. Druss_the_Legend 525
7. Push The Button 440
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 151
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Where will Alonso be in 2015?
Ferrari 17%
McLaren 66%
Mercedes 4%
Somewhere else 4%
Not in F1 9%