FIA unveils new protective helmet standard for 2019
The FIA has unveiled a new protective helmet which will become standard for Formula 1 drivers from 2019 with other championships to soon follow.
Following over a decade of research, the new high-standard of helmet design called 'FIA 8860-2018', outlines the design and performance requirements helmet manufacturers must achieve to provide equipment for the FIA’s top series.
Incidents on track have provided further research and development into the project. Felipe Massa's crash during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix where he hit a loose spring on track at 220kph have been crucial to the creation of the new standard.
New mandatory tests have been introduced as part of the new helmet regulations such as new impact and crush tolerances, advanced ballistic protection, and extended protective areas to work with the single-seater headrests for maximum energy management.
"We’ve been evolving since 2006 when we started working on it," said Andy Mellor, Senior Research Engineer for the Global Institute for Motorsport Safety, the FIA’s safety research partner.
"There was no emergency because the current 8860 helmets provide huge levels of protection and the industry was getting established with them.
"But now is the right time ‘The new standard goes one step further that maybe a few years ago we’d have thought was impossible to reach’ and the manufacturers are ready for it.”
F1 helmet manufacturers Stilo, Bell Racing, Schuberth, and Arai worked closely with the FIA researchers and will now begin work on their new products ahead of next season.
Stephane Cohen, Bell Racing Helmets Chairman, added: “The area of testing will be expanded compared to what we currently enjoy, which means that the overall protection of those helmets could be considered better and as usual the FIA will be at the forefront of helmet protection technology.
"This will be the most advanced standard in the world without any possible discussion.”