Lecture on "Safety In Formula 1" that Dr Patrick Treacy (who worked as a doctor in Formula 1 at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne) gave to the Ambulance Association of Ireland in 2006
Deaths in Formula 1 <ul><li>Name
Nation Date Place Ayrton Senna Brazil May 1, 1994 San Marino GP Roland Ratzenberger Austria April 30, 1994 San Marino GP(q) Ricardo Paletti Italy June 13, 1982 Canadian GP Gilles Villeneuve Canada May 8, 1982 Belgian GP (q) Ronnie Peterson Sweden Sept. 10, 1978 Italian GP Tom Pryce Britain May 5, 1977 South African GP Mark Donahue United States Aug. 19, 1975 Austrian GP (q) Helmuth Koinigg Austria October 6, 1974 U.S. GP Francois Cevert France October 7, 1973 U.S. GP (q) Roger Williamson Britain July 29, 1973 Dutch GP Jochen Rindt Austria Sept. 5, 1970 Italian GP (q) Piers Courage Britain June 7, 1970 Dutch GP Gerhard Mitter West-Germany August 2, 1969 German GP (q) Jo Schlesser France July 7, 1968 French GP Lorenzo Bandini Italy May 10, 1967 Monaco GP John Taylor Britain August 7, 1966 German GP Carel Godin de Beaufort Netherlands August 2 1964 German GP (q) Wolfgang Von Trips West-Germany Sept. 10, 1961 Italian GP Chris Bristow Britain June 19, 1960 Belgian GP Alan Stacey Britain June 19, 1960 Belgian GP Stuart Lewis-Evans Britain Sept. 19, 1958 Moroccan GP Peter Collins Britain August 3, 1958 German GP Luigi Musso Italy July 6, 1958 French GP Onofre Marimon Argentina July 31, 1954 German GP (q) (q)=qualifying </li></ul>
1994 Aryton Senna <ul><li>The modern
era of safety in Formula One began with the death of Ayrton Senna at the San Marino GP in 1994 . This occurred after the loss of Roland Ratzenberger on the previous day. The tragic loss of F1’s greatest driver along with was a wake up call for the Formula One community. Senna’s legacy was to ensure that nothing like his fatal accident would ever happen in Formula One again. </li></ul>
Post Tamburello <ul><li>After the deaths
of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna immediate changes aimed at slowing the cars followed to make the sport safer. Engine sizes were cut, more demanding crash tests were introduced and circuit safety was pursued by the FIA with greater vigour. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
FIA Institute for Motor Sport
Safety <ul><li>It was clear after Senna’s death that drastic measures were needed to improve safety in Formula One. </li></ul><ul><li>1994 FIA president Max Mosley began a campaign to improve safety in motor sport, which culminated in creating the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety . </li></ul>
1994 Max Mosley Sweeping regulations
changes characterised Mosley’s time as FIA President. In 1994, he first banned electronic driver aids such as traction control and active suspension.
1998 Max Mosley More controversial
changes came in 1998 with the advent of the grooved tyre & narrow tyre track regulations. The new millennium brought greater restrictions, with engines required to last for two races, then cut in capacity to 2.4 litre V8s and frozen in specification for three years until 2007. By regulation, the tyres feature a minimum of 4 grooves with the intention of slowing the cars down. They can be no wider than 355 mm and 380 mm at the front and rear respectively.
Professor Sid Watkins MD <ul><li>Mosley’s
first step in his campaign was to call upon the help of Professor Sid Watkins MD. Watkins, one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, had been working in Formula One since 1978, when Bernie Ecclestone, then the owner of the Brabham team and the boss of the Formula One Constructors Association, offered him the job to be the championship’s doctor. </li></ul>
Professor Sid Watkins Sidney Watkins
, MD, FRCS, OBE commonly known as Professor Sid , world-renowned neurosurgeon who served twenty-six years as the FIA Formula One Safety Delegate and Medical Delegate, head of the Formula One on-track medical team, and first responder in case of a crash. It is testament to the continual efforts of Professor Sid Watkins MD that there has not been a serious accident in Formula One in over ten years. Much of this is due to the research and action on safety led by Watkins as president of the FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety.
Professor Sid Watkins Watkin’s forthright
approach and no-nonsense attitude had already made him a respected figure in Formula One circles. His work in motor sport and safety has been so valued that, in 2002, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Safety Belts Formula 1 drivers
are strapped into the cockpit by a six point harness, similar to that found in a fighter jet. Safety belts have been since early 1960’s but only compulsory in a Formula 1 car by FIA since 1972.
Driver clothing In the founding
years of Formula 1, between 1950 and 1960, the dress code was primarily directed towards comfort and elegance. The legendary Juan Manuel Fangio preferred to drive in a polo shirt and cloth trousers with a balaclava on his head,
Driver clothing Even in the
70s, the racing overalls were made of easily flammable cotton, and it was only after Niki Lauda’s fire accident on the Nürburgring in 1976 that attitudes changed.
Driver clothing In 1979, Lauda,
Carlos Reutemann and Mario Andretti competed in overalls made of five layers of fireproof material, as used by NASA for astronauts’ suits.
Driver clothing Nowadays, overalls, boots,
underwear, gloves and face masks are all made of the special synthetic fibre, Nomex. It is so resistant to heat and fire that drivers in a Nomex-3 overall can survive 35 seconds in temperatures of 850°C, which is roughly equivalent to the heat in a house fire.
In Formula 1, every helmet
is a unique item, individually tailored to the respective driver with great technical effort and expense. Helmet
First, the driver’s head is
scanned to create a life-size model, next the model head is wrapped, layer by layer, with 120 mats of the high performance fibre T 800, where every thread consists of about 12,000 microthreads (each 15 times thinner than a human hair). The total length of all the threads processed in one helmet is approximately 16,000km. Helmet
HANS The device was designed
in the early 1980s by Dr. Robert Hubbard, a biomechanical professor at Michigan State University after the death of his friend Patrick Jacquemart who was killed in IMSA testing in Ohio when his Renault struck a sandbank and was dead on arrival with head injuries
HANS Many drivers found it
difficult to get used to the device, claiming it to be uncomfortable, more restrictive and fearing that it would cause more injuries and problems than it prevented. Some stated that the positioning of the device made the seat belts feel less secure or rubbed on the shoulders or collar bone. The tragic death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. on February 18 th 2001 was a significant event in motorsport history. Following the safety investigation, NASCAR began mandatory use of head-and-neck restraints (HANS) in 2002. F1 followed one year later in 2003
HANS HANS Device A HANS
tether is attached from the HANS collar to both sides of the driver’s helmet. B HANS collar. C Shoulder harness is secured on top of the HANS Device.
HANS Both Sauber drivers were
due to debut HANS in the 2002 Italian Grand Prix, but only used it in practice. Extensive tests were carried out by the FIA institute on the yoke and tethers for strength and fire resistance.
Safety Car At races, the
FIA's Bernard Maylander will be ready at all times in the Safety Car, in which he can be driven to the scene of any major injury. When he arrives at the stricken car, a warning light system located on the top of cockpit provides an immediate indication of the severity of the accident.
Some of the most important
safety features in Formula 1 are now being built alongside the track. Generous run-off zones help reduce the speed of a car that has come off the track, while tyre stacks absorb the impact energy of the car when hit. Istanbul is now considered the most advanced track TRACK SAFETY Allianz Safety Check: Istanbul Racing Circuit "This is absolutely going to be the best track." Mr. Bernie ECCLESTONE
In 2001 alone, we saw
an Australian marshal's fatality in the Australian GP; Dale Earnhardt's death in NASCAR; Michele Alboreto's death while testing his Audi Le Mans sports car; Alex Zanardi's massive leg injuries in a recent CART race. The common factor in all these accidents was the high speed of at least one car involved (each over 180mph). At these speeds, the energy involved is very high and the cars are often capable of flying, thereby avoiding the energy dissipation systems installed at the circuits. Recent accidents are also at the end of straights (where drivers overtake) and composite wings or suspension components are most highly stressed The Future of F1 Safety
The Green Agenda Honda's Formula
One team is going green. The team showed their environmentally friendly credentials announcing their new cars for the 2007 season. They will feature a large image of the Earth with no commercial logos. Instead, it will sport a picture of the Earth made up of 1000s of pixels that will contain the names of people who are prepared to pledge life-style changes to help to limit global warming. .
Is a reduction in power
necessary and/or desirable? From a safety point of view, the answer is probably "yes“ but the sporting view says "no". It is considered that an excess of power over grip is good and to have less power than other series such as CART and NASCAR would not be good for Formula 1's image . The methods used to control power in other series i.e. RPM limiters, orifices, technology limits, and series-production based engines, are all considered inappropriate to Formula 1. Safety Driven by Marketing The possibilities of emerging green technologies like hybrids, turbo-diesels or brake regeneration would be unacceptable as the sound of high-revving, multi-cylinder engines is one aspect that sets Formula 1 apart from other series and no one wishes to compromise that!