Formula 1 used to be a dangerous sport, but today the improvements to safety technology have dramatically reduced the likelihood of injury or death occurring on the track.
So what is it that actually makes these incredibly fast F1 cars about as safe as the average family hatchback, even when high speed impacts do occur?
Drivers who climb into an F1 car are effectively swaddling themselves in what’s known as a ‘survival cell’. This intimidating name holds real weight and literally identifies the important safety role that it plays.
A combination of a rigid cockpit with surrounding shock-absorbing structures which can bend, warp and soak up all the force of an impact help to avoid passing on any of this momentum to the driver in the event of a crash.
The fire fighting kit
It was not just collisions that caused problems in F1 during previous decades, but the combustions that could result from them.
Today, fire suppression systems can kick in and put out the flames before the highly flammable fuel is ignited. It is not just the driver that can control these features, but also the marshals in charge of safety at the race.
This kind of forward-thinking and micro-management is what you would also expect to see from F1 hospitality Monaco race attendees can enjoy, as provided by sites like https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-hospitality/f1-hospitality-monaco/.
The full body suits that drivers wear are not just for showcasing the logos of their sponsors – they also perform a vital safety function in the event of a fire. The space-age material that they are made from can cope with exposure to temperatures of up to 800 degrees Celsius for a short timeframe, without passing on any of this energy to the wearer, avoiding burns and other serious injuries.
The helmet and neck support device work hand in hand to relieve the stresses that are exerted on drivers as they fling themselves around the tight corners of an F1 track, or if they suffer a crash.
All of these changes mean that F1 can claim to be safer than ever today, even if there is little room for comfort features onboard the cars and drivers still have to put up with less than ideal conditions throughout the duration of a race.