The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the group that oversees almost all international motorsport, just revealed a new helmet that meets the highest bar of safety motorsport has ever seen. The new standard helmet will be mandatory for the 2019 Formula 1 season and then make its way to all major racing championships, like the World Endurance Championship and Wolrd Rally Championship.
Researchers at the FIA worked alongside major brands like Stilo, Bell Racing, Schuberth and Arai to develop the incredible stringent requirements and otherworldly tolerances for the prototype. In a statement from the FIA, it said, “It is now up to these manufacturers to deliver the production versions of the new helmets for the 2019 F1 season.” What kind of standards will these companies have to meet and exceed? Firstly, the helmet can withstand heat up to 1,454 degrees Fahrenheit and must “self-extinguish” once the flame source is put out. The main shell protects the driver’s head from the equivalent of a 22-pound weight falling from 16 feet, a half-pound weight traveling at 155 mph or 275g worth of deceleration force. In other words, this will be the safest helmet in the world.
Seeing as how Scott Dixon clocked 232.164 mph at this year’s Indy 500, Formula 1 drivers regularly see speeds above 200 mph and take turns at over 5Gs and Rally drivers fly through forests at triple-digit speeds on the regular, this helmet is a necessity. At the helmet’s official unveiling, Stephane Cohen, Bell Racing Helmets Chairman, remarked, “This will be the most advanced standard in the world without any possible discussion.” Nobody can argue with that.
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