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The development of safety in F1


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#1 mangeliiito

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 15:41

Hey!
I got a task for school to hold a speech that will be around 5 minutes long. And I would like to talk about the development of safety in F1, especially after Imola 1994 since no driver has been killed in an accident after that weekend. And also if F1 has contributed to make the standard cars on our roads safer.
I was not even one year old by the time it happened, so obviously I got no memory of Imola myself. I found some things on the internet, but since I need as much information I can get, I need some help.
So if you know anything I can read about the safety and Ayrton Sennas involvement in these questions I would more than appreciate if you would post it here. :)


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#2 buckaluck

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 15:52

I'm sure it's here somewhere but you may want to mention that McLaren developed the first carbon fiber chassis that incorporates the cockpit, in a front end crash it would twist and flex back into shape vs crumpling up and injuring the legs. In the interest of safety they declined to enforce their patent.
That one developement has save more lives then probably any other developement. It started with the MP4/1 in 1981 you can google that for more info or check the McLaren website.


#3 RStock

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 16:16

I'm sure it's here somewhere but you may want to mention that McLaren developed the first carbon fiber chassis that incorporates the cockpit, in a front end crash it would twist and flex back into shape vs crumpling up and injuring the legs. In the interest of safety they declined to enforce their patent.
That one developement has save more lives then probably any other developement. It started with the MP4/1 in 1981 you can google that for more info or check the McLaren website.


Could McLaren have even obtained a patent on the use of Carbon Fiber?

And mangeliiito, in talking about safety you would be lax not to mention the work of Jackie Stewart and later the crash of Niki Lauda at the 'ring in helping bring this issue to the forefront.




#4 D-Type

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 21:42

There is an excellent book The science of safety by David Tremayne 2000, ISBN 1 85960 664 4 which will give you as much information as you need and more.

Essentially safety improvements were a gradual evolution both of the desire for safety and of the techniques used. With each accident the drive for greater safety increased. Senna's and Ratzenberger's fatal accidents were just two in a series over the years that stimulated people to "do something"

Edited by D-Type, 05 May 2012 - 22:34.


#5 bradbury west

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 21:55

You may find it useful to use the search facility on TNF for the name Dr Michael Henderson. His work was pioneering in driver safety.
Roger Lund

Edit; you might find you receive more replies if you supply more information about yourself.

Edited by bradbury west, 05 May 2012 - 21:59.


#6 cheesy poofs

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 13:29

In my humble opinion, one has to consider the arrival of the HANS device as the major factor in motorsports safety in the last 20 years.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 15:09

Foam in fuel tanks to slow fuel sloshing around etc...

Tail lights for use in rain.

Tethering of wheels.

Deformable structures.

Almost everything is pre-Senna, though. Senna's and Ratzenberger's deaths at Imola in 1994 were stand-outs. Much was said at the time about how there had not been a Formula 1 death in over a decade, so the real impact of safety regulations and moves began before their crashes.

#8 paulhooft

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 18:13

Yes, this is a very fine book that tells you the whole story!! :up:


There is an excellent book The science of safety by David Tremayne 2000, ISBN 1 85960 664 4 which will give you as much information as you need and more.

Essentially safety improvements were a gradual evolution both of the desire for safety and of the techniques used. With each accident the drive for greater safety increased. Senna's and Ratzenberger's fatal accidents were just two in a series over the years that stimulated people to "do something"



#9 D-Type

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 20:34

Re-readinfg the first post I see the poster also asks for information regarding "Ayrton Senna's involvement in these [safety] questions". I cannot recall Senna having any direct involvement in safety issues - certainly no more than any other driver at the time.

#10 SPBHM

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 20:52

Re-readinfg the first post I see the poster also asks for information regarding "Ayrton Senna's involvement in these [safety] questions". I cannot recall Senna having any direct involvement in safety issues - certainly no more than any other driver at the time.


well, on the recent "Senna" movie there is some footage of some drivers briefing where he is voicing his concerns over safety issues quite a bit (regarding tyre barriers I think, you can probably find something on youtube),
also recently I think on the Motor Sport Magazine podcast Jackie Stewart said Senna called him to talk about safety in the early 90's,


there is some basic information regarding the safety improvements over the years here
http://www.formula1....afety/7423.html

I do think that Senna's accident had a big impact, with rule changes, concerning the cockpit safety and track safety

#11 bradbury west

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 21:55

Surely the original poster would have to recap on where safety had come from, how it had evolved, to get to the start point of his presentation. It is important to know where you have come from to understand where you are, hence my comment about the importance of Michael Henderson. An item like legislating to ensure the drivers' feet were well behind the centreline of the front axles must also be considerd a major safety move. It was all evolutionary, not overnight.
Roger Lund

#12 uechtel

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:15

Hey!
I got a task for school to hold a speech that will be around 5 minutes long. And I would like to talk about the development of safety in F1, especially after Imola 1994 since no driver has been killed in an accident after that weekend. And also if F1 has contributed to make the standard cars on our roads safer.
I was not even one year old by the time it happened, so obviously I got no memory of Imola myself. I found some things on the internet, but since I need as much information I can get, I need some help.
So if you know anything I can read about the safety and Ayrton Sennas involvement in these questions I would more than appreciate if you would post it here. :)


I remember the early nineties - before the Senna and Ratzenberger accidents - when everybody in F1 was proud about the safety standard, which was proofed by the fact, that because of the safety rules no driver had died in an accident since 1986...

So I don´t think that safety can be measured by the number of deaths alone. Maybe it was sheer luck, that Massa survived the impact of that spring crashing into his helmet and maybe it was also sheer luck on some other occasions. What I want to say is, that I don´t regard Senna´s accident as a "turning point" in safety. It was a more or less steady progress, with lasted at least over the last 40 years, or even more. The oldest safety regulation that comes into my mind was the requirement of crash helmets, which were introduced in 1952. At some time in the sixties also safety belts and roll-over-bars became obligatory and after that it seems that the development started to get quicker. Of course some incidents did cause immediate reactions, like the broken wings in Barcelona 1969 (ban on "moveable" aerodynamic devices, height limit) or the ban of ground effect cars in 1983. Other regulations were for example "rubber" tanks (early seventies), obligatory crash tests (eighties), driver´s feet behind the front axle (late eighties). Also don´t forget "organizational" safety measuers like the introduction of super licenses or infrastructural measures like spectator zones and the switch from circuits like the Nürbugring to "retort" tracks of today.




#13 Hamish Robson

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:03

Motorsport safety is constantly being researched and improved upon by the FIA Institute. I would suggest their website would be a great place start.

http://www.fiainstit...s/homepage.aspx

Edited by Hamish Robson, 09 May 2012 - 10:03.


#14 kayemod

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:44

driver´s feet behind the front axle (late eighties).


We've discussed this before, while the driver having his feet some way back from the front of the car may look 'safer', the position of the front wheels is utterly irrelevant in a crash context. The only thing that matters is the strength of the structure around the driver's lower legs, where the wheels or axle line is in relation to the poor guy's toes has nothing at all to do with safety. Would you feel 'safe' if your extremities were well behind the front wheels, but 'protected only by a flimsy sheet metal pedal box? Like I said, driver protection is provided by the strength of the structure around him. Designers main concern with the front end was having a rigid mounting for the front suspension without excessive weight, keeping the driver away from wheelchairs or worse wasn't usually uppermost in their minds.


#15 uechtel

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:31

I can not judge the efficiency of that rule, but what I wanted to express, was, that this was reported to be the motivation behind that rule. There were probably also some other safety rules that turned out to be not so much effective as intended (the gravel beds for example). Nevertheless, the intention had been for safety reasons.

#16 kayemod

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 13:40

Proper crash testing started in 1985, frontal, side impact, steering column etc. Before that, it must seem surprising to many newer fans just how little thought was given to driver protection.

#17 HistoryFan

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 14:06

when were tyre barriers used the first time?



#18 D-Type

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 19:40

when were tyre barriers used the first time?

Probably somewhere in the USA as they were always more safety (litigation?) conscious than in Europe.  Tyres were used in the straw bales era and later supplanted by Armco and catch fencing and gravel traps which were in turn replaced by tyre barriers when they were judged to be the most effective means of absorbing a car's energy progressively.  You need to read the David Tremayne book that I gave details of earlier.



#19 HistoryFan

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 21:34

and in F1?



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#20 E1pix

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 22:45

There's some F1 safety info here, but be forewarned, some troubling content as well:
http://www.formula1-...net/safety.html

#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 06:06

Re-readinfg the first post I see the poster also asks for information regarding "Ayrton Senna's involvement in these [safety] questions". I cannot recall Senna having any direct involvement in safety issues - certainly no more than any other driver at the time.

Senna was one of the most agressive and unsporting drivers. He must have been worried about the cars he was punting off!

His accident was in effect more tragic because he had an accident, not fell off in a wheelbanging duel with others.



#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 06:09

The biggest problem these days with F1 safety is F1 drivers and teams. Yellow means hurry up and catch the field. Double yellow waved means lets crash!

One unfortunatly has been caught, but there will be others. UNLESS the Sport polices itself to obey the rules at the upper levels.



#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 08:42

The biggest problem these days with F1 safety is F1 drivers and teams. Yellow means hurry up and catch the field. Double yellow waved means lets crash!

One unfortunatly has been caught, but there will be others. UNLESS the Sport polices itself to obey the rules at the upper levels.

Yes, while I would not go back to the days when several drivers were killed each year, I am sure the current go-cart-trained drivers would race better if there were more risk of death or serious injury rather than just having a "drive-through" penalty..



#24 opplock

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 11:16

Yellow flag discipline is a major problem at all levels, due in my opinion to lack of effective sanctions. When I raced 20 years ago offenders during practice sessions in UK club racing would be forced to start their race 10 seconds after the rest of the field. Not any more. About 3 years ago I was flagging at Brands and reported a Porsche driver for overtaking under yellows between Paddock and Druids. We had eye to eye contact as he approached my waved yellow. Race Control later informed us that the offender had been "named and shamed". He started the race from pole and went on to win. I resisted the strong temptation to quit marshalling on the spot.    



#25 Allan Lupton

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 12:45

I remember the sanctions problem in club racing from a long time ago: in those days anyone with a television could see the bumping and boring that was touring car racing, and it was obvious that those involved got away with it. Our CotC often had an argument on his hands if an Observer's Report were filed for similar behaviour at (e.g.) the Eight Clubs. However as VSCC Judges, we usually got our reports of jump starts acted on - much to the displeasure of a well-known repeat offender who competed in the post-war Sports Car race!



#26 Charlieman

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 13:54

There's some F1 safety info here, but be forewarned, some troubling content as well:
http://www.formula1-...net/safety.html

A couple of things missing from the article linked above:

* Fireproof bulkheads were "mandatory" at some events/categories in the 1950s. Interpretation of the requirement varied, with the most strict being that the driver was in a fuel-free metal box with an open lid. Even so, saddle tanks over the drivers' legs were adopted for races when fuel capacity required.

* Jackie Stewart taped a spanner to the steering wheel so that it could be removed following an accident.

* Deformable structures along the side of F1 cars were required from the early/mid 1970s.

* External projections from cars were restricted in size (eg Lotus 49 exhausts).

* Use of magnesium alloys has been restricted to bulk items (eg uprights) rather than monocoque skins and small components. I don't know how much this was driven by regulations or engineering common sense.

* Early applications of carbon fibre were often misguided (eg Hill carbon fibre wing support) and designers were initially very cautious when creating monocoques from it. Lotus added Kevlar to their first composite monocoque and McLaren (with partners) conducted a thorough design analysis for their version. When was crash testing introduced?

* Louis Stanley established a mobile first aid service to attend grands prix. Doctors offered their services to something that would make a difference. 

* Crack testing, X-ray analysis, component life records, manufacturing quality etc have improved enormously. They make a more significant difference regarding historic racing.

 

It is worth noting that many of the positive safety changes were introduced by participants (drivers, organisers, engineers) before racing regulators considered them.