Formula 1 News: In 2020, Formula 1 escaped from witnessing one of the biggest possible tragedies in the entirety of the sport. Romain Grosjean miraculously escaped his fireball crash in Bahrain. However, it prompted the FIA to upgrade its safety standards.
Grosjean was left with some scarring wounds on his hands from the crash. The scars of the past are still present on his hands and often gives him an ordeal while flying. To prevent such injuries in future, the FIA has developed better gloves and they have apparently recorded a positive result from its initial tests.
“As a result of Romain’s incident, it was an area we started working on immediately,” said FIA’s Masi. “We identified very quickly that was an area that could be improved, together with the manufacturers.”
The gloves will have more resistance after multiple supplies of protective race gear. They went through their first test during the Free practice sessions last Friday in Turkey.
“The initial feedback from the drivers is all good. There’s a couple of little fine-tuning elements with a couple of the brands, but nothing insurmountable from that end. So we’re very grateful to the drivers and the teams involved to actually run them and it shows that we’re trying to increase those levels of protection as much as possible.”
Formula 1 news: How will the new gloves work?
The gloves are apparently designed to reduce the heat transfer onto drivers’ hands when exposed to heat. This aspect will give around one-and-a-half-second of additional protection as compared to older gloves.
“It sounds minimal,” said Masi, “but as we’ve seen in those types of scenarios, every tenth of a second, millisecond counts,” he added. The tests intended to verify the amount of added protection while dealing with the intricacies of handling a real-life F1 car.
Though Masi confesses that some minor details of the new gloves need to get improvements. But it’s a first stride towards ensuring the prevention of long-lasting damages to drivers’ bodies in probable fire borne incidents.
Formula 1 news: How the drivers reacted?
In Turkey, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and George Russell volunteered in the tests. The FIA’s head of competitor and road user safety Nuno Costa lead the test.
According to Ricciardo, he didn’t feel any difference between the prototype and usual gloves while handling. The Australian race driver feels it could be a brilliant addition to the overall F1 kit, with no downsides.
“I knew that I was going to use them but after the fact, I didn’t know I used them,” Ricciardo said. “So I’m trying to say that’s a good thing – I didn’t notice the difference. But I’m not very fussy with my kit and stuff, so I’m not that particular. It was completely fine for me. It’s a nice addition without any downside, really.”
Formula 1 has been proactive in making regular additions to ensure the safety of the drivers. This active participation by the FIA gave probably the most successful safety equipment- The Halo, which has saved drivers from many fatal injuries since its inception.