Safety equipment

What the technical regulations say:

  • All cars must be fitted with a fire extinguishing system that will discharge into the cockpit and engine compartment in the event of a fire. It must be operable by the driver when he is seated normally with his seat belts on and must function even if the car’s main electrical circuit fails or if the car is inverted.
  • There must also be a switch to trigger the fire extinguishing system from outside the cockpit. Its location on the bodywork is indicated by a red letter “E” inside a white circle.
  • There must be a circuit breaker switch in the cockpit that the driver can use to cut all the car’s main electrical circuits. This is marked on the dashboard by a red spark in a white-edged blue triangle. There must be an additional switch that marshals can operate from a distance with the use of a special hook. This switch is located at the base of the car’s main roll-over structure.
  • All cars must have two rear-view mirrors, whose size and location must comply with strict requirements. Drivers must demonstrate to the FIA the effectiveness of the mirrors by identifying special letter and number boards placed at various distances behind and to the sides of the car whilst seated in the cockpit.
  • Seatbelts are compulsory in Formula One racing. Drivers must wear two shoulder straps, one abdominal strap and two straps between the legs. These must comply with strictly specified FIA standards.
  • All cars must have a red light on the rear of the car in a specific location defined by the FIA regulations. The driver must be able to switch this light on at any time. This is usually done in poor weather conditions in order to make the car more visible to following drivers.
  • The cockpit of the car must be equipped with three areas of special padding to protect the driver’s head in the event of an impact. These are situated immediately behind and to the sides of his head.
  • In order to minimise the risk of leg injury during an accident, additional areas of padding must be fitted each side of, and above, the driver’s legs within the cockpit.
  • In order to easily extract a driver from a car in the event of an accident its seat must be removable with the driver in place and his seatbelts fastened. The seat must be secured by no more than two bolts, which can be released using a standard tool issued to all rescue crews.
  • All cars must be fitted with wheel retention devices to prevent a wheel coming off the car in the event of the fastener either being left loose or becoming loose.

What the sporting regulations say:

  • For the purpose of accident analysis, each car must be fitted with a high speed camera and each driver must wear in-ear accelerometers at each event and all tests which are attended by more than one team.