F1 » Bell launches new 'Visor Panel'

Bell launches a new visor panel to improve F1 driver safety

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Alan D - Unregistered

March 29, 2011 12:18 PM

The chances of a repeat of the sort of accident Massa had and of a driver being hit squarely in the visor are remote to say the least. You could say that having a tougher visor can't do any harm but that's not altogether true. As I understand it, Massa's visor deformed and snapped the hinge on one side. That would have dissipated a significant amount of the energy of the impact. A more bullet-proof visor might, in some circumstances, just result in a bigger shock wave being transmitted through the helmet shell, or increased forces on the neck.

The real problem was the bullet-like torsion spring thrown up by RB's Brawn. If the angles had been different, that projectile could just as easily have gone through the bodywork of the Ferrari and hit Massa in the arm or leg, for example. Although the cars have a "survival cell", drivers legs do get injured by rod penetration in crashes. Perhaps the min weight needs increasing by another 20kg, but with all that weight going into beefing up the

YuppieScum - Unregistered

March 29, 2011 1:08 PM

Correct, it was a spring, not a bolt. It also didn't go through the visor.

What appeared to happen (blog.syjourney.net / wp-content / uploads / 2009 / 07 / massa-crash-300x168.jpg) was that the visor hit his helmet and pushed the top left-hand edge into his face. Surely the effort needs to be into stronger visor hinges?

So, what we have here is an irrelevant press release masquerading as "news". Well done, Crash...

Drive - Unregistered

March 29, 2011 3:18 PM

Yep. Get your facts right. It was the coil spring from the 3rd or heave damper that sat on top of the Brawn gearbox. Was shown a million times on TV all over the world !

Mysh - Unregistered

March 29, 2011 8:00 PM

"The chances of a repeat of the sort of accident Massa had and of a driver being hit squarely in the visor are remote to say the least."

if you have ever wondered why helmut marrko has such a surprised look on his face it was a similar incedent that ended his racing career.

A stone went through his visor blinding his eye, he was a formidable racer in his days before interfereing with red bull.

Alan D - Unregistered

March 30, 2011 12:49 AM

Mysh, that's a very good point, although in 72 the visors were pretty flimsy compared to what we have today, and the spring that hit Massa had a lot more mass than the pebble that hit Marrko.

But as I understand it, Massa was knocked unconscious by the spring. It wasn't as a result of the part penetrating the visor. That did cause additional injuries but he was knocked out by the shock wave from the heavy spring hitting his helmet at 200mph. This caused him to jam his feet down on the pedals causing the crash and even more G trauma. Even if his visor had been bullet-proof, he'd still have been knocked out.

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