When it comes to Formula 1 racing, safety is one of the biggest issues. Even with all the advances in technology, drivers are still risking their lives whenever they get into their cars. Here’s a short overview of safety measures that have been introduced since 2000.
2000. Since 2000, the cockpit has to have walls made of carbon fiber that’s at least 3.5 mm thick. The bar that’s located above the head has to endure 2.4 t of lateral force.
2001. Regulations for lateral impact tests have been changed so that the speed is increased from 7 to 10 m/s. Blue flag has been introduced into racing, and whenever it’s raised, the driver has to allow the car behind him to move to the front.
2002. Any driver who makes a false start or breaks any of the rules can be given a time penalty. Regarding the cars, the size of the rear lights has been increased 6 cm.
2003. Before the beginning of the season, the circuits need to be reconstructed in order to reduce safety issues. The HANS system is now mandatory for all racers.
2004. The FIA introduced new safety standards for driver helmets. Monte Carlo now has a permanent pit lane that’s equipped with garages.
2005. The 75 mm protective padding that can be found in all cockpits is now 100 mm thick. Wheel tethers need to be made to withstand at least 6 t.
2006. Regulations for rear crash tests have been changed, and the impact speed increased to 15 m/s.
2007. Cars are now equipped with LED lights the purpose of which is to transmit the signals given by marshals to F1 drivers.
2009. Race stewards are now appointed following a different set of rules, but they’re also provided with a better system for video analysis.
2010. When a decision needs to be made about an incident that occurred during racing, stewards can get help from experienced F1 drivers.
2011. Double diffusers are banned in order to make the cars go slower. A Zylon strip has been added to the visor to improve its impact performance.