New Formula 1 Helmet Prototype Revealed by FIA

The governing body of all motorsport, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), presented on Wednesday a new helmet prototype and standard for Formula 1.
2019 Formula 1 helmet shown without team livery 4 photos
Photo: FIA
Formula 1 Helmet PrototypeFormula 1 Helmet PrototypeFormula 1 Helmet Prototype
The helmet, which would enter use in the 2019 season, is according to FIA the result of a decade of research aimed at raising the bar when it comes to safety standards. The new helmet has been created with the help of manufacturers Stilo, Bell Racing, Schuberth, and Arai.

Called FIA 8860-2018, the standard is mandatory for all helmet manufacturers supplying Formula 1 teams. Following F1 implementation, other racing series would get the new helmet as well.

The biggest changes include the lowering of the top of the visor by 10 mm to incorporate advanced ballistic protection and the addition of extended areas of protection on the sides. This was required to better pair the helmets with single-seater headrests and closed car seat-side head protection systems. Composite materials were used in shell construction to make it impervious to impact.

The new standard calls for the design to resist standard impact at 9.5 m/s and low lateral impact at 8.5 m/s. A 225 g metal projectile fired at 250 km/h (155 mph) must not penetrate the helmet, and a weight of 10 kg (22 lbs) falling 5.1 meters (16 feet) onto helmet must not crush it.

Fire protection has also been taken into account in the new standard. As per the new rules, helmets must withstand exposure to a 790 C° flame (1454 Fahrenheit) and be able to self-extinguish once the flame is removed.

“The current top-end helmets are already the safest in the world, but the new standard will take them to the next level,” said in a statement FIA’s safety director Laurent Mekies.

“It is important for all of our safety research that we continually strive to improve and this is why we are requiring all manufacturers to meet this tougher standard for our championships.”

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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