Crash! #3

f1g2safety* Based on Mark Webber’s crash in 2010 European Gran Prix at Valencia. Reference link -

For video of Webber’s crash click –

Disclaimer: The above figures for speed are based on previous incidences in F1 and road car and the sketches used are only for illustration purpose. The speed and impact may not  necessarily produce same results every time, as the level of injury depends on various parameters. The intent of the author is only to emphasize the safety in an F1 car, its technology and structure.

What makes cockpit of an  F1 car, one of the safest place on earth? The reason is the chassis material : Carbon Fiber and monocoque (single shell) structure.  Carbon fiber is a composite & is 4 times less denser than steel at the same time twice stronger. The monocoque structure comprises of 60 layers of carbon fibres, a pre-impregnated epoxy resin and an aluminium honeycomb layer, which is sandwiched between two layers of carbon fibre.

f1 chassis structureFor safety reasons, no fuel, oil or water lines may pass through the cockpit and the driver must be able to get out within five seconds without having to remove anything except seatbelts and steering wheel (which he must be able to refit within another five seconds).

Other safety features on track: Other than safety car and the various colored flags to signal the drivers, there are some of the simple track safety features that can be implemented on roads to make driving safer:

1. Use of tyre wall at road side- run off areas to absorb impact and reduce damage.
2. Use of sand on run off area for rapid absoption of energy.

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2 Responses to Crash! #3

  1. piyush mulay says:

    i don’t totally agree now a days even normal cars have safety features like air bag is the most common safety feature besides in some advanced cars there is a feature called forward collision avoidance in which an autonomous system that sees obstacles in the road, predicts the impending crash and starts braking before you even realize you’re in danger, of course u have to shell out that much more money for those features

  2. Well, there is no doubt that some of the road cars are safe but can they survive in the harsh conditions of F1 is still questionable. The credit for technological development in road cars to some extent goes to Formula One not just related to safety but also related to aerodynamics, weight, power and use of new materials. Though F1 does not include air bags, it is still safer* because of the structure and material of its cockpit and chassis. Now a days they are using carbon fiber in some parts of high end road cars to improve safety and reduce weight.
    * – in most cases.

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