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Safety in F1


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#1 mrdave

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:22

What do you think is the single greatest safety improvement in F1?

Helmets and safety belts have proved their worth, time and time again. And so have roll hoops. But so have the HANS device, since thier introduction in 2003 in preventing skull fractures.

Your nominations please....

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#2 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:42

What do you think is the single greatest safety improvement in F1?

Helmets and safety belts have proved their worth, time and time again. And so have roll hoops. But so have the HANS device, since thier introduction in 2003 in preventing skull fractures.

Your nominations please....



When they banned Grosjean for a race

#3 NotAPineapple

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 13:37

For me its a pretty clear one (or two actually).

The strength of the current tubs is the main factor (to me) in preventing injury. I wouldn't go as far as to say that carbon tubs were responsible for this because the first carbon tubs were just as fragile as the spaceframes they replaced. Rather the rapid increase in the crash test loads have forced a practically indestructable tub. The knock on effect here is that with the fuel being contained in the same tub, the risk of fire after a crash has all but disappeared.

After we got to the stage of the tubs being secure in a crash (very late 90's I'd say) the next problem was to stop the all too common Basilar skull fracture. This disappeared practically overnight with the introduction of the HANS device.

So thats it from me. Strong tubs and HANS....

The cool thing about these improvements is that they masively increased the safety of the drivers without any effect on the quality of the racing. The same can't be said for the current restrictions on power, downforce and the track layouts which have really castrated the spectacle in my opinion.

Edited by NotAPineapple, 17 August 2013 - 13:39.


#4 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 14:10

Have high cockpit sides really made much of a difference?

#5 Kalmake

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 15:03

Track fencing.

#6 MatsNorway

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 19:40

The use of Carbon fiber.

#7 Rasputin

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 19:55

Run-off areas no doubt. In the old days you'd hit a tree or a telephone-pole when you lost it, at best an armco-fence, today it's just a bit of sight-seeing.

#8 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:49

I watched Pikes Peak on TV yesterday. Plenty of things for Mr Loeb to hit in under 9 min. Most had two legs! Though cars, trucks, tractors plus ofcourse the stunning scenery makes it a lot scarey. Though I guess he is used to using the crowd as track edges.

#9 Magoo

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:16

What do you think is the single greatest safety improvement in F1?

Helmets and safety belts have proved their worth, time and time again. And so have roll hoops. But so have the HANS device, since thier introduction in 2003 in preventing skull fractures.

Your nominations please....


all great choices. I wouldn't underestimate F1 track design.

#10 mariner

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 18:50

I would name four things

1) Jackie Stewart - an absolute top level driver invested his credibilty and intelligence in promoting safety despite it making him deeply unpopular e.g DSJ.

2) safety belts combined with :-

3) Carbon fibre tubs. So much stronger than spaceframes etc but see 4)


4) Ground effects (GE) - seems odd but GE forced designers to build much,much stonger chassis' to take the huge growtth in cornering loads. They MIGHT have put in more strength for safety but they HAD to put it in go faster without the car falling apart.

Also GE made cornering speeds so high the circuits had to move spectators back for safety/insurnace and that allowed the big modern run off areas.

Its sort of ironic that Colin Chapman , who is often castigated for " dangerous cars" etc. introduced 4) and co - introduced 3) with McLaren!

#11 BRG

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 19:23

the first carbon tubs were just as fragile as the spaceframes they replaced.


3) Carbon fibre tubs. So much stronger than spaceframes

Whilst I agree that CF tubs are better than anything before, there was a 20 year period with various types of aluminium monocoque after space-frames were largely replaced. And these were certainly progressively safer, although the reason for their development, as for the subsequent adoption of carbon fibre technology, was entirely about chassis rigidity, and lightness, and nothing at all to do with safety. That was just a very fortunate by-product.

#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 19:29

Weren't ground-effects outlawed many years before most of the 'modern' safety features you're listing?

#13 desmo

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 20:20

Ground effects constitute such a large part of the aero DF of F1 cars still to this day, it's hard to say they've ever been "outlawed".

#14 Kalmake

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 21:41

With "ground effects ban" people usually mean the flat bottom rule of 1983. Certainly it was a big drop. It took many years to reach similar downforce levels again.

Like the post-skirts wing cars, flat bottom and diffuser requires stiff suspension and chassis.

First carbon fiber chassis was McLaren in 1981, but it took years before every team had them.

I'm not convinced there is any connection with use of carbon fiber and increased downforce. It would have been superior material in the 50's.

#15 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 21:56

Ground effects constitute such a large part of the aero DF of F1 cars still to this day, it's hard to say they've ever been "outlawed".


Sorry, tunnels.

The paved runoff thing didn't really start in earnest until the mid 00s.

#16 munks

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 03:12

When they banned Grosjean for a race


I have to give this a +1 (if there was such a thing on this site).