Matthieu Vaxivière, Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team rider, explained to us what the riders wear. The armor of heroes.
Matthieu Vaxivière, Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team rider, explained to us how is the clothes of the pilots. There is no doubt that the material they use to protect themselves must provide the highest possible degree of security, since the conditions they must face are very risky. The helmet is a key element, in addition to the garments which pass a thorough safety examination.
The start of the 2020 season was marked, among other things, by a new safety standard in Formula 1 and also in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Building on the work of the Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety, the FIA put the new standard 8856-2018 on the table. It is a regulation that obliges pilots helmets Made of carbon fiber, they integrate advanced ballistic protection on top of the visor.
In the same way, this element is subjected to an examination in which it must withstand exposure to temperatures of 790º. Very relevant is also the standard 8856-2018, applied in this case to the flame retardant overalls. They must endure 12 seconds at a temperature of 700 ° C, in addition to being able to control the heat that penetrates the suit. Romain Grosjean would have suffered more significant damage had it not been for this measure.
Precisely Grosjean, despite being practically unharmed, if he had burns on his hands. This is in part because Formula 1 drivers’ gloves are more vulnerable than overalls to fire exposure. Since the pilot needs to feel the steering wheel very precisely, the gloves do not have more than one layer of flame retardant material in certain areas.
This article was published in Top Gear by Enrique León.