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

2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday September 5 2015)

2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday September 4 2015)

2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday September 4 2015)

Mercedes split on Red Bull deal (Friday September 4 2015)

Rosberg targets Monza pole (Thursday September 3 2015)

Formula One is on the edge (Thursday September 3 2015)

Renault to rescue Lotus team? (Thursday September 3 2015)

Blog: Monza Preview (Wednesday September 2 2015)

Who will win the Italian Grand Prix? (Tuesday September 1 2015)

McLaren drivers getting frustrated? (Friday August 28 2015)

Ferrari do not want fight with Pirelli (Thursday August 27 2015)

Hamilton delight at qualifying form (Wednesday August 26 2015)

Blog: Belgian GP Report (Monday August 24 2015)

2015 - Belgian GP- Race (Sunday August 23 2015)

2015 - Belgian GP - Qualifying (Sunday August 23 2015)

2015 - Belgian GP - FP3 (Sunday August 23 2015)

2015 - Belgian GP - FP2 (Friday August 21 2015)

2015 - Belgian GP - FP1 (Friday August 21 2015)

Raikkonen retains seat at Ferrari (Thursday August 20 2015)

Blog: Spa Preview (Wednesday August 19 2015)

Who will win the Belgium Grand Prix? (Tuesday August 18 2015)

Stevens pleased with Manor season (Friday August 14 2015)

Toro Rosso takeover talks over (Thursday August 13 2015)

Toro Rosso should push on (Monday August 10 2015)

Money means nothing to Ricciardo (Friday August 7 2015)

Honda to spend tokens (Thursday August 6 2015)

Force India investigate failures (Wednesday August 5 2015)

McLaren oppose testing plans (Tuesday August 4 2015)

Double podium for Red Bull Racing (Thursday July 30 2015)

Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi (Wednesday July 29 2015)

Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Monday July 27 2015)

2015 Hungary GP - Race (Sunday July 26 2015)

Blog: Hungaroring Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)

2015 Hungary GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)

2015 Hungary GP - FP3 (Saturday July 25 2015)

2015 - Hungary GP - FP2 (Friday July 24 2015)

2015 - Hungary GP - FP1 (Friday July 24 2015)

Drivers mourn at Bianchi's funeral (Wednesday July 22 2015)

Blog: Hungaroring Preview (Tuesday July 21 2015)

Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 21 2015)

Chilton dedicates win to Bianchi (Monday July 20 2015)

Jules Bianchi dies aged 25 (Saturday July 18 2015)

McLaren trying to unlock potential (Thursday July 16 2015)

Red Bull lack patience (Wednesday July 15 2015)

Button's future up in the air (Friday July 10 2015)

Hamilton wants more control (Thursday July 9 2015)

Mercedes to power Red Bull Racing? (Wednesday July 8 2015)

Blog: British GP Report (Tuesday July 7 2015)

Records fall for Hamilton (Monday July 6 2015)

2015 - British GP - Race result (Sunday July 5 2015)

Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 5 2015)

2015 - British GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 4 2015)

2015 - British GP - FP3 (Saturday July 4 2015)

2015 - British GP - FP2 (Friday July 3 2015)

2015 - British GP - FP1 (Friday July 3 2015)

Hamilton calls for better trophies (Thursday July 2 2015)

Blog: Silverstone Preview (Wednesday July 1 2015)

Pirelli to request more F1 tests (Tuesday June 30 2015)

New contract for Horner (Monday June 29 2015)

F1 teams are all talk says Todt (Monday June 29 2015)

Formula 1 v Formula E (Monday June 29 2015)

Positive test for McLaren (Friday June 26 2015)

Mosley praise for Ecclestone (Thursday June 25 2015)

Red Bull to sack Horner? (Wednesday June 24 2015)

Angry Mateschitz (Tuesday June 23 2015)

Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 21 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - Race (Sunday June 21 2015)

Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)

Four drivers hit with penalties (Saturday June 20 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - Qualifying (Saturday June 20 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 1058
2. DJ 972
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 583
6. Druss_the_Legend 542
7. Push The Button 461
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 168
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who will win the Italian Grand Prix?
Hamilton 82%
Rosberg 6%
Raikkonen 0%
Vettel 6%
Massa 0%
Bottas 0%
Someone else 6%