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Head injuries in F1, and motor racing in general...


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#51 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 15:53

Having been away I have only just come across this thread.

I have read through it all and whilst obviously, I have great sympathy for Massa and even more for John Surtees and family, I simply have too agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Nye. This is motor racing and it is inherently dangerous. It may be several thousand percent safer than it used to be, but my memory goes back into the 1950s and 60s, wherein there used to be an obituary, virtually EVERY week in AUTOSPORT. Now, mercifully these instances are very, very rare.

It appears to me that many people are trying to make it totally safe. Take up watching tiddly-winks, chaps, motor sport IS dangerous and MUST remain so. Mountain climbers would not want ladders up the side of Everest; bull-fighters would not want the horns removed; the people who race cars do it do it because they want to and they must accept that they could be seriously injured or worse. When and if they decide that the risks are too great, they stop. Simple as that.

The Surtees and Massa accidents were freak events and as such could be repeated next week or in ten years' time. That's just the way of it - leave it alone.

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#52 Jones Foyer

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 16:01

Ridiculous!


Reports are that the team knew about the unsecure wheel before Alonso was let out of the pits. He radioed that he thought he had a puncture and they still didn't inform him of the danger.

That is what the FIA is concerned about, that Renault knew the danger but let him go hoping he would be OK.

#53 alansart

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 16:27

Having been away I have only just come across this thread.

I have read through it all and whilst obviously, I have great sympathy for Massa and even more for John Surtees and family, I simply have too agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Nye. This is motor racing and it is inherently dangerous. It may be several thousand percent safer than it used to be, but my memory goes back into the 1950s and 60s, wherein there used to be an obituary, virtually EVERY week in AUTOSPORT. Now, mercifully these instances are very, very rare.

It appears to me that many people are trying to make it totally safe. Take up watching tiddly-winks, chaps, motor sport IS dangerous and MUST remain so. Mountain climbers would not want ladders up the side of Everest; bull-fighters would not want the horns removed; the people who race cars do it do it because they want to and they must accept that they could be seriously injured or worse. When and if they decide that the risks are too great, they stop. Simple as that.

The Surtees and Massa accidents were freak events and as such could be repeated next week or in ten years' time. That's just the way of it - leave it alone.


I often find fate strange. Wendlinger's injury, Ratzenburger and Senna in a matter of days and recently sadly Surtees, Massa and then Alonso losing a wheel for which the powers that be seem have gone OTT. Motor racing is dangerous - unfortunately that's part of the attraction. I don't want to see anyone get injured, but no matter what you do, somebody, somewhere will get hurt. We seem to live in this PC state where there must be a solution to any problem. Motor racing isn't like that, so the the solution will destroy what part of sport is about.

Ironically, at times modern cars are too safe. Look at BTCC and NASCAR, where they think they can punt anybody off as their cars are safe and strong. That's not racing, thats Stock Cars :down:

I watched the Moto GP from Donington yesterday. A good race, but very dangerous. How do you make bike racing safe without putting them on kiddie training wheels

Edited by alansart, 27 July 2009 - 19:51.


#54 alansart

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 16:30

Reports are that the team knew about the unsecure wheel before Alonso was let out of the pits. He radioed that he thought he had a puncture and they still didn't inform him of the danger.

That is what the FIA is concerned about, that Renault knew the danger but let him go hoping he would be OK.


I'm sure it didn't take Alonso too long to realise that the wheel was loose, it was wobbling a bit but like any racing driver he chose to continue to get it back to the pits.

Edited by alansart, 27 July 2009 - 16:32.


#55 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 17:01

Having been away I have only just come across this thread.

I have read through it all and whilst obviously, I have great sympathy for Massa and even more for John Surtees and family, I simply have too agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Nye. This is motor racing and it is inherently dangerous. It may be several thousand percent safer than it used to be, but my memory goes back into the 1950s and 60s, wherein there used to be an obituary, virtually EVERY week in AUTOSPORT. Now, mercifully these instances are very, very rare.

It appears to me that many people are trying to make it totally safe. Take up watching tiddly-winks, chaps, motor sport IS dangerous and MUST remain so. Mountain climbers would not want ladders up the side of Everest; bull-fighters would not want the horns removed; the people who race cars do it do it because they want to and they must accept that they could be seriously injured or worse. When and if they decide that the risks are too great, they stop. Simple as that.

The Surtees and Massa accidents were freak events and as such could be repeated next week or in ten years' time. That's just the way of it - leave it alone.

Exactly, Barry.

Let's hope it's at least ten years' time - or preferably never.

And just a few observations - some of the instances being cited are not directly comparable to the Surtees and Massa accidents. Like Helmut Marko (and Hermann Lang at Belgrade in 1939), these drivers were hit by inherently unavoidable errant objects which had fallen from or been kicked up by cars ahead of them. Spence and Senna were killed by parts of their own cars after hitting trackside barriers (sorry if that sounds brutal, but there is a difference). And Servoz-Gavin's eyesight was damaged in a skiing accident - IIRC he hit a tree?

And I may be being a bit naive, but surely it wouldn't increase the weight of the helmet too much to make the visor out of substantially stronger material, given that the aperture it covers is the most vulnerable part?

#56 Chezrome

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 19:54

Exactly, Barry.

Let's hope it's at least ten years' time - or preferably never.

And just a few observations - some of the instances being cited are not directly comparable to the Surtees and Massa accidents. Like Helmut Marko (and Hermann Lang at Belgrade in 1939), these drivers were hit by inherently unavoidable errant objects which had fallen from or been kicked up by cars ahead of them. Spence and Senna were killed by parts of their own cars after hitting trackside barriers (sorry if that sounds brutal, but there is a difference). And Servoz-Gavin's eyesight was damaged in a skiing accident - IIRC he hit a tree?

And I may be being a bit naive, but surely it wouldn't increase the weight of the helmet too much to make the visor out of substantially stronger material, given that the aperture it covers is the most vulnerable part?



Yes, but now the question. Remember what Barrichello said before the incident (or shortly after)? That he KNEW and the team KNEW the rear suspension was on its way to go. I find it impossible to imagine that Jacky Stewart, in 1970, would drive around, think: 'Mmm, ye rearsuspension seems to be collapsing. Aw, well, lets drive a quali lap anyways, to look if it holds.'



#57 Rosemayer

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 20:14

As far as a bird strike on a canopy here is a test on a F16 with a bird.




#58 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 20:22

Yes, but now the question. Remember what Barrichello said before the incident (or shortly after)? That he KNEW and the team KNEW the rear suspension was on its way to go. I find it impossible to imagine that Jacky Stewart, in 1970, would drive around, think: 'Mmm, ye rearsuspension seems to be collapsing. Aw, well, lets drive a quali lap anyways, to look if it holds.'

All of which goes to provide a condemnation of the idiotic current qualifying system. If Rubens had stopped out on the track, he wouldn't have been allowed to continue in the next session.

In less regimented days, most organisers would have moved heaven and earth to give drivers - especially Moss, Clark, Stewart and the like - a chance to get on the grid in such circumstances.

O tempora! O mores!

#59 Twin Window

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 20:34

Oh please...

Indeed.

That's just the way of it - leave it alone.

Agreed.


How do you make bike racing safe without putting them on kiddie training wheels

Exactly; and that's precisely why motorcycle racing is the only contemporary form of motorsport worth watching any more (as has been the case for many years).


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#60 PeterElleray

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 20:46

perhaps ive missed it, but the last post from stuart reminds me that i have been wondering whatever happened to the 'twin window' helmet and about its relevence to the penetration issues..

peter

#61 BorderReiver

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 23:20

That's not racing, thats Stock Cars :down:


:rolleyes:

Signed.

A Stock Car racer.

#62 kiwi a110

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 23:47

Yes, but now the question. Remember what Barrichello said before the incident (or shortly after)? That he KNEW and the team KNEW the rear suspension was on its way to go. I find it impossible to imagine that Jacky Stewart, in 1970, would drive around, think: 'Mmm, ye rearsuspension seems to be collapsing. Aw, well, lets drive a quali lap anyways, to look if it holds.'



Now if this is really the case I am left to wonder why Brawn are not banned for even longer?
Follow my (strange) logic.
Renault is banned for a situation which MAY have caused an injury. It didn't.
Brawn are off scot-free for an incident that created a major injury, so therefore should face a bigger penalty?

#63 Twin Window

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 23:54

...i have been wondering whatever happened to the 'twin window' helmet and about its relevence to the penetration issues...

I don't think you've missed anything on this thread, Peter. That helmet design was created purely to combat the effect, or results thereof, of drivers ploughing into the [somewhat ill-conceived] 'catch fences' (made of chicken wire & wooden poles) which appeared in the mid-to-late 1970s.

#64 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 00:01

perhaps ive missed it, but the last post from stuart reminds me that i have been wondering whatever happened to the 'twin window' helmet and about its relevence to the penetration issues..
peter

...not that you'd be advocating a return to those 2kg Bell icons?
Re the two unfortunate accidents - The FIA 8860 standard was drawn up by the FIA Helmet Safety Group (originally headed by Prof Watkins), dealing with impact, penetration, absorbtion & weight, as a result of helmet related injuries sustained in 1994. The new helmets were introduced after extensive testing at TRRL in Windsor for F1 use in June 2004. This year was the first time helmets of this standard have been mandated for use in other classes such as GP2 F2 F3 etc. The point is, the guidelines were set & met.

Edited by mfd, 29 July 2009 - 00:04.


#65 RTH

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:16

Clearly in the light of the widespread use of the HANS device today, helmet standards can and must now be re-examined with test firing objects at the window area in view of events this weekend.
A good point was made earlier about visor strength , material and thickness. The Bellstar 1 from 1970 had a visor of incredibly thin material, I have still got one, not much more than the clear plastic blister packaging on retail goods today.
As a result of Dr Helmut Marko losing the sight in one eye the next generation of helmets had visors of superior material and a thickness of about 3 mm. That still looks incredibly thin and is only supported by a small area around the rim.

Much more research would now be welcome in this area to set much higher standards, perhaps a much thicker visor made up of laminated layers. I am reminded of a military aircraft laminated multilayer windscreen I saw at the DeHavilland museum last week which presumably could withstand could withstand anything it was likely to encounter at 400mph.Not the same thing granted but a similar principle in absorbing energy whilst also stopping penetration as the film quote above showed with the bird strike on a fighter screen.

To say that we should not use new materials, experience. techniques and knowledge to protect drivers when possible is rather like say don't improve protective clothing for fireman, they know what they are letting themselves in for when they join up !! I do not subscribe to this callous disregard to driver protection.

Edited by RTH, 28 July 2009 - 08:36.


#66 Chezrome

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:13

Now if this is really the case I am left to wonder why Brawn are not banned for even longer?
Follow my (strange) logic.
Renault is banned for a situation which MAY have caused an injury. It didn't.
Brawn are off scot-free for an incident that created a major injury, so therefore should face a bigger penalty?


It is true. Read this interview with Barrichello shortly after the incident with Massa. 'The car this morning had a lot of fuel and it felt quite good. This afternoon it felt a bit strange, vertically the car was moving a bit. And we suspected since the beginning of qualifying that it was starting to go. Eventually it went completely on that lap, because I had a lap of traffic which I had to abort and that lap, as soon as I braked for Turn 1, it was very, very bad. I still did an okay time through sector one, but when I went into Turn 3 I felt the rear collapse.'

So one can say that the idiotic qualifying rules pushed the Brawn team to take a risk. But it was the same risk that Renault took, not more, not less.

Edited by Chezrome, 28 July 2009 - 07:13.


#67 PeterElleray

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:31

...not that you'd be advocating a return to those 2kg Bell icons?
Re the two unfortunate accidents - The FIA 8860 standard was drawn up by the FIA Helmet Safety Group (originally headed by Prof Watkins), dealing with impact, penetration, absorbtion & weight, as a result of helmet related injuries sustained in 1994. The new helmets were introduced after extensive testing at TRRL in Windsor for F1 use in June 2004. This year was the first time helmets of this standard have been mandated for use in other classes such as GP2 F2 F3 etc. The point is, the guidelines were set & met.


thanks to Stuart for reminding me about the wonders of catch fencing...

im not suggesting dusting off the Bell twin window, but i am wondering what would have happened if that spring had impacted about 10cm to the right of where it did...

given that the nature of being thumped on the head by a flying object is random, and on the principle that the smaller the opening the less chance there is of something getting through, and doing a quick calc which says that a noseband of 1/8" thick carbon sandwiching honeycomb would weigh less than 50g, i'm wondering...

wouldnt have made any difference at Brands, might have done in slightly altered circumstance at the hungaroring.

thats all - were they abandoned because of visibility issues?


peter


#68 Peter Morley

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:40

Paul Grant showed me a video yesterday taken from his Trojan F1 car at Porto two weeks ago.
Two cars went past him and soon afterwards a large object appears (turned out to be an airbox) and hits him on the helmet causing a lot of damage to his helmet and some to the car.
The video is on http://vdvgrant.be/e...ails.php?id=116
That makes 3 similar incidents in three consecutive weekends.

Edited by Peter Morley, 28 July 2009 - 08:41.


#69 RTH

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 08:48

Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the Bell twin window appear in the wake of the Niki Lauda '76 crash when he was badly burned in the face. I remember Jacky Ickx wearing one also.
Small aperture helmet windows and balaclavas with just two small eye holes became the fashion. Gradually as no further driver had facial burns balaclavas returned to huge openings and helmet went back to bigger single apertures.

#70 PeterElleray

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:21

Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the Bell twin window appear in the wake of the Niki Lauda '76 crash when he was badly burned in the face. I remember Jacky Ickx wearing one also.
Small aperture helmet windows and balaclavas with just two small eye holes became the fashion. Gradually as no further driver had facial burns balaclavas returned to huge openings and helmet went back to bigger single apertures.


i think thats right - certainly as far as the balaclava is concerned it makes you wonder about the thought process doesnt it..


#71 Twin Window

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:42

...were they abandoned because of visibility issues?

Not really; it was more due to their weight.

The first F1 wearer of the narrow-aperture Bell was Jody Scheckter in 1974 which duly became the norm and was later supplemented by the 'twin window' in roughly 1977 (help me Michael!). Unfortunately for Bell this coincided with the advent of 'ground effect' and its significant increase in the cornering speeds, thus making lightweight headgear more desirable for the drivers. Bell responded with the XFM-1 which saved weight and was also the first of their helmets with a pre-curved/moulded visor which was also semi-flush with the shell itself.

The AGV X-1 which Lauda wore for most of '76 was dodgy because, if I'm correct in remembering, they only made one size of shell (as opposed to a selection offered by Bell, for example) and drivers were 'fitted' by AGV incorporating differing amounts of inner padding to suit. IIRC, this was the main reason for Lauda's example coming off in his shunt at the 'Ring.

Gradually as no further driver had facial burns balaclavas returned to huge openings and helmet went back to bigger single apertures.

Indeed.

A trend made hugely popular by none other than Ayrton Senna, who died in an illegally lightweight helmet I believe I'm correct in saying.

#72 PeterElleray

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:53

Not really; it was more due to their weight.


interesting because i dont think that need be an issue with todays technology.


#73 RTH

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:58

I wonder if someone can tell us the weight of say a size 8 adult human head and neck and thus what persentage increase a 2kg is over wearing a 1.4kg helmet ? it is in the combined weight which is what matters in a sudden retardation.
Has it been more a matter of driver perception and comfort/ cornering force/neck muscle levels as to which helmet to choose ?Rather than genuine science especially now with a HANS device ,which is undoubtedly beneficial, restraining neck breakage levels?

Edited by RTH, 28 July 2009 - 10:00.


#74 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:45

Paul Grant showed me a video yesterday taken from his Trojan F1 car at Porto two weeks ago.
Two cars went past him and soon afterwards a large object appears (turned out to be an airbox) and hits him on the helmet causing a lot of damage to his helmet and some to the car.
The video is on http://vdvgrant.be/e...ails.php?id=116
That makes 3 similar incidents in three consecutive weekends.


The marshalls don't exactly spring into action there do they!

I started my "career" with a Kangol, then a Griffin, huge aperture (to allow cpr without the helmet being removed) and the thickest visor you could get, the reason I went for it. Since then, I have tried to get the smallest aperture as possible. The HANS only really comes into effect when it's a head on collision, and prevents hyper-extension. As I said previously, the recent events have highlighted contact, and the sudden movement of the head backwards.

Modern cars are much much stronger than ever before, and so the only bit that really gives in any sense is the sqaushy bit that sits in the cockpit. Having had some very large belt bruising, it makes me wonder what a massive de-acceleration could do to the internals? Similarly, the new generation of helmets use a material designed not to give way (too much) and would appear to rely on the collapse of the padding. My concern has been for some time the amount of holes in the structure for various reasons, which unlike holes in monocoques, don't appear to have bobbins installed.

#75 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 14:12

The marshalls don't exactly spring into action there do they!

I started my "career" with a Kangol, then a Griffin, huge aperture (to allow cpr without the helmet being removed) and the thickest visor you could get, the reason I went for it. Since then, I have tried to get the smallest aperture as possible. The HANS only really comes into effect when it's a head on collision, and prevents hyper-extension. As I said previously, the recent events have highlighted contact, and the sudden movement of the head backwards.

Modern cars are much much stronger than ever before, and so the only bit that really gives in any sense is the sqaushy bit that sits in the cockpit. Having had some very large belt bruising, it makes me wonder what a massive de-acceleration could do to the internals? Similarly, the new generation of helmets use a material designed not to give way (too much) and would appear to rely on the collapse of the padding. My concern has been for some time the amount of holes in the structure for various reasons, which unlike holes in monocoques, don't appear to have bobbins installed.

Hello Steve :wave: You're right about the marshalls, hardly rushed into action. I also laughed when I saw the guy get out of the wagon & then put his helmet on.

Your other points are well made too. It's so easy on here, to ask questions, put forward theories, I guess that's the nature of TNF, but in this case it is not easy to answer. The standards re impact tests for shells & visors are in the public domain (See FIA website FIA8860-2004) likewise weights of human heads can be found by googling etc.

The FIA helmet standards were discussed, tested implemented over a period of ten years. Part of the tests were designed to absorb massive impacts beyond what is considered survivable. A helmet is particularly vulnerable in the frontal area, aperture & chin bar - but the manufacturers know this & they make those specific areas in a different fashion to the rest. Equally it is not just a question of applying carbon monocoque or gearbox thinking to a helmet shell. Inside a helmet is a complex and delicate piece of kit...well in some cases ;)

Going back to Stuart's point, I recall a guy from the 70's telling me Bell made their helmets with different openings, in different positions. In my case it was about James Hunt's preference, but I guess the Scheckter helmet was a similar & bespoke...but that was fibre glass & relatively easy to cut. Which reminds me the GPA contained a lot of Kevlar and apparently that was a b--stard to drill let alone cut...

Edited by mfd, 29 July 2009 - 00:08.


#76 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 15:00

Hello Steve :wave: You're right about the marshalls, hardly rushed into action. I also laughed when I saw the guy get out of the wagon & then put his helmet on.

Your other points are well made too. It's so easy on here, to ask questions, put forward theories, I guess that's the nature of TNF, but in this case it is not easy to answer. The standards re impact tests for shells & visors are in the public domain (See FIA website FIA8860-2004) likewise weights of human heads can be found by googling etc.

The FIA helmet standards were discussed, tested implemented over a period of ten years. Part of the tests were designed to absorb massive impacts beyond what is considered survivable. A helmet is particularly vulnerable in the frontal area, aperture & chin bar - but the manufacturers know this & they make those specific areas in a different fashion to the rest. Equally it is not just a question of applying carbon monocoque or gearbox thinking to a helmet shell. Inside a helmet is a complex and delicate piece of kit...well in some cases ;)

Going back to Stuart's point, I recall a guy from the 70's telling me Bell made their helmets with different openings, in different positions. In my case it was about James Hunt's preference, but I guess the Scheckter helmet was a similar & bespoke...but that was fibre glass & relatively easy to cut. Which reminds me the GPA was made of Kevlar and that was a b--stard to drill let alone cut...
Let's imagine if the FIA decides all helmets now have to have minimum aperture smaller than todays' models. In today's world this effectively means back to the drawing board and at what cost & to whom? All the R&D has to be restarted.



Yes your right Mike, I wonder what the urgency to put on an open face helmet, to go to a stationary car, was!!??

I'm a little out of touch with current helmet design (the last thing I was involved in closely was the "marshall/re-fueling" lights in the chin bar of the Schuberths and the possiblity of in helmet cameras during sessions). I assume most modern helmets are still polystyrene, foam and "Bead All"? There was talk of air sacs, liquid sacks (inter connected to allow the fluid to move and desperse any force), but all still worked/work, on the principle of partial shell destruction? and with kevlar and or carbon, that's not so easily done is it? After that it's still the progressive destruction/collapse of the lining. Even then, a loose rear wheel, at speed, I wonder how much was impact, and how much was sudden movement backwards. With a 1kg spring, a smaller weight, but a smaller impact area, and when seeing the pictures of Massa's helmet after his removal from the car, the shell didn't appear to be greatly affected.

I read talk now of semi enclosed cockpits (ah hem!) like the Protos, original Maki and Brabham's Monza experiment. A] How is that open cockpit racing, b] think a 20 gramme ball bearing at a closing speed of 180 mph, what on earth would you make them from, that you can see through!!!

I still think the FIA will jerk it's knees and suggest something daft, but they are dammed if they do, and dammed if they don't. If they do, incidents such as the recent ones, will never happen again, and we'll moan, if they don't, pound to a pinch of pooh says it will happen again, and we'll moan!!

#77 Rosemayer

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 15:11

Indeed.


Agreed.



Exactly; and that's precisely why motorcycle racing is the only contemporary form of motorsport worth watching any more (as has been the case for many years).


Copyright Autosport

How brave are you really?

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#78 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 15:40

Copyright Autosport

How brave are you really?

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worth pointing out De Angelis hasn't or about to - fallen off :clap:


#79 T54

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 16:09

"Motor racing is dangerous. Sign here."

Indeed, but sometimes the Powers That Be make it even more so. How?

Helmet testing standards are set by the FIA and the Snell foundation.


Not in F1 it is.

There is currently a conflict in philosophy between the Snell Foundation standards and the ones used by the FIA in F1. And the conflict is that the F1 standards, pushed by German influence, have made, in some people opinion, the helmet shells AND inner liner too HARD, resulting in greater APPARENT strength of the helmet but also greater transmission of energy to the head.
I for one, believe that a helmet's best quality is to ABSORB energy from an impact, instead of deflecting it. The football stars suffer concussions because the relatively lightweight brain bucket they wear provide basically no other protection other than that of fictitious well wishing. I believe that the FIA has decided in that direction where the outer shell's integrity in a crash is more important that its actual capacity to absorb energy.

While no helmet will ever protect someone's head 100% of the time as well as no HANS system will ever protect cervical fracture 100% of the time, it is the belief of some that the FIA was wrong in mandating the current standard, as a knee-jerk reaction against what USED to happen in F1, such as some helmet manufacturers KNOWINGLY grinding special shells for their sponsored "customers" to make them lighter and reduce neck strain (please remember that NO ONE in F1 has actually PAID for their helmets in many, many years as helmet manufacturers have been fighting for the advertising value since the mid 1970's) and lightening them to a point of seriously compromising the integrity of their composite structure.
Indeed it was common before current standards, to find that some famous driver's helmet was curiously 500 grams lighter, including paint (that weighs a LOT more than what most think) and radio, than the Snell-certified version worn by lesser humans.

When carbon fiber was introduced as a material to build helmets, it was quickly discovered that these were no longer able to absorb a sufficient amount of energy using conventional liners. Because the availability of polyurethane and/or polystyrene beads density was limited to what was available on the shelf at the various foam manufacturers, the solution to this issue was not truly resolved by MOST current helmet suppliers (but some DID achioeve this by engineering their own foam beads), and somehow one of the companies (name withheld to protect the guilty) was able to muscle their opinion through and convince the FIA that their idea of how to protect someone's head was better than that of the doctors running the Snell Foundation. Not that all was perfect at Snell, since their current "cold" test is truly stupid. If they needed helmets to run snowmobile races in frozen Canadian winters, then do a special standard for Gawd sake, but don't force the same standard for fibers with 100F difference in the extremes. Hence the current standard.

I for one believe that the FIA is truly wrong in how they addressed this matter, bent to manufacturers pressure and compromised the possibly greater safety provided by the Snell standard. In this matter as as for racing suits and garments, the utter ignorance of the actual top-level as well as most other car racers is pretty mind boggling to one involved in the industry.
I for one, as a lesser human, after having seen the charts for so many years, feel much better wearing a Snell 2005-certified hat, thank you very much. It is of course impossible to prove it, but a Snell 2005-standard helmet MAY have reduced the amount of injury to Massa by better absorbing the impact of the flying object.

Of course this is only MY opinion, but I have a thick file of personal involvement in this matter that reaches well above of pure speculation.

As far as what Twin Window said about the actual show and Moto GP, boy, is he right 100%.

T54







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#80 RTH

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 17:04

OK so the average human male head and neck is 5500gms
So the difference between a head with a 'heavy helmet vs a head in a light helmet is 7500gms vs 6900 gms

Another way is to say that the 2kg helmet makes the combined weight 8.7% heavier than when in a 'light' helmet

Strikes me in the scheme of things that is not actually a huge difference, so there must be scope to add both penetration resistance as well as more internal energy absorption in to the 'light' helmet especially in view of the recent mandatory use of the Hans device..

Edited by RTH, 28 July 2009 - 17:05.


#81 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 21:31

Of course this is only MY opinion, but I have a thick file of personal involvement in this matter that reaches well above of pure speculation.
T54

...you could be right, as I had heard the same from another source who shares your fears.

The FIA helmet standard - better/safer, has until this year been exclusive to F1 & being without incident for 4 years, never truly tested. Now of course other categories are included...

I believe the man who ran the control tests when working for the TRRL, is now employed by the FIA.

Edited by mfd, 29 July 2009 - 00:02.


#82 Twin Window

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 22:19

Going back to Stuart's point, I recall a guy from the 70's telling me Bell made their helmets with different openings, in different positions. In my case it was about James Hunt's preference, but I guess the Scheckter helmet was a similar & bespoke...

Yep; that was for me at least one of the intriguing aspects of the early 'narrow window' Bells in that their orifices were often in starkly differing positions. I can think of extreme examples, but I'll probably come back with some pics at a later date instead.

worth pointing out De Angelis hasn't or about to - fallen off :clap:

:D They are the kiddies!

As far as what Twin Window said about the actual show and Moto GP, boy, is he right 100%.

 ;) :up:

#83 Barry Boor

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 22:19

But, but, but.... all the bikes look the same.....

#84 Twin Window

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 22:22

But, but, but.... all the bikes look the same.....

Please, please watch some MotoGP, Barry! Preferably on Eurosport...

;)

EDIT: In fact start-off with viewing a re-run of the last lap of this year's Spanish GP :D

#85 Barry Boor

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 22:41

Saw it. Quite good, but the bikes still all look the same.

ROSSI FOR FERRARI!

#86 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:01

...but the bikes still all look the same.

are you still watching in B & W Barry? :confused:


#87 T54

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:09

Barry, I AM the guy supposed to be half-blind here... :wave:

They look as much the same as a March 701 looks like a Lotus 72...

The conviction that the FIA helmet standard was better/safer, has until this year been exclusive to F1 & being without incident for 4 years, never truly tested. Now of course other "Junior" categories are included...

Well, its first test may have been inconclusive. One cannot say for sure because it is hard to measure the actual impact since this was not done in a lab...

There is from my understanding one European based manufacturer, very close to the FIA. which is potentially difficult if they are part of the "steering committee"

Indeed, ans apparently these people dictate what I personally believe to be detrimental to the health of the wearers.

I also find it interesting the man who ran the controlled tests when working for the TRRL, is now employed by the FIA.

You have noted that too, hey?

OK so the average human male head and neck is 5500gms
So the difference between a head with a 'heavy helmet vs a head in a light helmet is 7500gms vs 6900 gms

Another way is to say that the 2kg helmet makes the combined weight 8.7% heavier than when in a 'light' helmet

Strikes me in the scheme of things that is not actually a huge difference, so there must be scope to add both penetration resistance as well as more internal energy absorption in to the 'light' helmet especially in view of the recent mandatory use of the Hans device..

Richard, the difference is HUGE when you consider the acceleration of the head + helmet when the car hits a solid object at speed.

I wore heavy helmets in my days because we did not know any better, and my head was flopping left and right and exerted a huge strain on my neck and body (I am a rather small fellow at 5'7" and 145lbs). I was under contract with Bell when racing the bikes, and their "Star" helmets were bricks, but they were the best then, I think. When I began racing vintage cars, Bell was my first choice. Then I saw a GPA F1.
The GPA self-locking helmet (a brick today!) was 200 grams lighter and I could not believe how much difference it made, even in the vintage cars with relatively low G-forces to deal with.
After the GPA was banned from mostly ignorance, I had a series of Simpson, Arai, Shoei... and all were very heavy and unsatisfactory to me.
The helmets I wear today not only pass the Snell 2005SA with flying colors but are the lightest on the market, and the most comfortable I ever had so far. They are also the ones with the greatest integrity because unlike ANY other, their shells are injection molded around the unique twin-fiber design (carbon weave around the neck, Aramid cloth on top where a softer shell is beneficial to impact absorption) so no hand-laid "after-lunch" shells on these. If the meter does not show a complete fill plus or minus 5 grams of resin, the shell is simply rejected.

I want to live as old as I can and want the lightest helmet there is (IF the Snell SA2005 test results look good of course) because IF I hit the wall, I would like to survive it with no more brain damage than what got me in the car in the first place. I am of course quite lucky to have been involved in the industry with still some very good friends in the right places, which gives me access to very interesting technical info.
Regards,

T54

Edited by T54, 28 July 2009 - 23:23.


#88 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:37

http://www.autosport...cle.php/id/2300

The weight claimed is omptimistic when compared to the one I have here on my scales...perhaps it's a typo

#89 T54

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:52

Mike, could you copy and paste? I simply cannot login on the site today, no idea why.

#90 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 23:57

Mike, could you copy and paste? I simply cannot login on the site today, no idea why.

Check your PM box.


#91 T54

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 00:07

Got it, thanks!
Does not say much, but the weight appears quite optimistic, by about at least 300 grams with paint and radio IMHO.
The quotations and claims by Mosley also appear very optimistic and are almost certainly not backed by the reality, at least about the G-forces absorption. In fact I would bet a large amount of money on refuting that claim in the lab...

#92 GeorgeTheCar

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 00:30

Looking at the picture of Massa before the helmet has been removed I am struck by one amazing fact.

If the plastic component that held the unbroken lexan visor had not broken, it is quite possible that the spring would not have even have breached the visor.

It would be good, if anyone has a connection to one, to ask a helmet designer for their comments.

Should the helmet posts be redesigned and the helmet post area strengthened?

Perhaps this could add a significant measure of safety at low cost and weight penalties?

#93 bschenker

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:00

The Italien TV was a simulation from this accident.

Massa Simulation

#94 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 13:29

Interesting that the Italian simulation used a spring, as indeed, most of the media desribed it.

It was, I believe, a solid piece of bar - a torsion bar - which all modern f.1 cars use.

Of course, I may be wrong.....

#95 f1steveuk

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 14:19

Interesting that the Italian simulation used a spring, as indeed, most of the media desribed it.

It was, I believe, a solid piece of bar - a torsion bar - which all modern f.1 cars use.

Of course, I may be wrong.....


I'm not certain Barry, but I think the rear end of the Brawn uses a single coil spring for both sides, with a wierd linkage that means it's both spring and anti-roll in one, that's how I understood Ross Brawn's description anyway. I too may be wrong!!!

#96 Pils1989

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 14:29

Technical Forum, the thread about that coil spring
http://forums.autosp...howtopic=112692

#97 scheivlak

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 14:36

Video:

#98 Twin Window

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 15:05

That vid of stills seems to prove conclusively it was a spring then...

#99 f1steveuk

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 15:10

As an aside from what is obviously a serious matter, I find it staggering how many different names/descriptions/layouts/components are being shown by so called "expert" sites! According to Piola, it's a single spring mounted transversly across the gearbox. Another site shows a single, spring, lying along the cars centre line on top of the gearbox. One site shows it working in conjunction with vertical torsion bars, and yet another as the only springing medium. Regardless, it's amazing such a large component, which was around a damper, should get loose, and where on earth did the damper portion go?

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#100 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 15:14

I'm not certain Barry, but I think the rear end of the Brawn uses a single coil spring for both sides, with a wierd linkage that means it's both spring and anti-roll in one........

Do not speak to loudly on this, FIA may ban it...!