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professional race helmets.

How Strong Are Formula 1 Helmets?

With Formula 1 rising in popularity, many onlookers are seeking answers to questions regarding the sport’s safety, especially after several high-profile accidents in recent years. When talking about auto racing safety equipment, Formula 1 helmets are undoubtedly one of the most important gears for any race driver. There are comprehensive guidelines regarding the manufacturing and usage of helmets.

Let’s take a comprehensive look at the strength of Formula 1 helmets.

Governing Body

Fédération International de l'Automobile (FIA) is the governing body of all motorsports globally and provides the safety standards for most race organizers, including Formula 1. In 2018, they announced a new safety standard for helmets shortly after introducing the halo system for F1 cars.

The FIA 8860-2018, as they call it, comprises 14 comprehensive requirements that every helmet manufacturer must fulfill to call their helmets safe enough for high-speed Formula 1 racing.

Bell’s race helmets.

Standard Requirements

The requirements are discussed in greater detail below.

  • Impact Test: The test measures the deceleration of the driver’s head when the helmet is impacted at 9.5 m/s. The force must be lower than 275G.
  • Low-Velocity Impact Test: It measures the peak deceleration at an impact speed of 6 m/s. The peak must stay within the limit of 200G, and the maximum average must hover around 180 G.
  • Low Lateral Impact Test: When testing for lateral impact at 85 m/s, it shouldn’t produce deceleration higher than 275G.
  • Crush Test: A 10kg weight dropped at a distance of 5 meters must not exert a force on the helmet more than 10kN.
  • Shell Penetration Test: During this test, a 4kg impactor is dropped on the helmet at a 7.7-meter height to check the robustness.
  • Visor Penetration: A 1.2g pellet is shot through an air rifle to see if it penetrates the interior.
  • Visor Coating: A transmitter test is carried out to check the vision and coloration of the visor.
  • Retention System: The strap’s strength is determined through a roll-off and dynamic test.
  • Chin Guard Linear Impact: An impact test is carried out with a full head form at a speed of 5.5 m/s. The acceleration at its peak shouldn’t surpass the 275G limit.
  • Chin Guard Crush: a hammer is used to hit the chin guard, and the test measures the helmet’s capability to deflect the impact from the driver’s head.
  • FHR Mechanical Strength: The FHR attachment points should be of high strength.
  • Projection and Surface Friction: The test is conducted to ensure the helmet surface remains intact with minimal friction. The shell also undergoes the BARCOL hardness test to check penetration resistance.
  • Flammability: The helmet goes through extensive flammability tests, exposing it to more than 790 degrees.

Buying World-Class Helmets

If you’re looking for premium race helmets manufactured by leading companies such as Bell Racing and B2 Helmets, you’ve come to the right place! At Fast Racer, we have partnered with leading manufacturers to supply world-class race helmets used by professional racers in competitions such as Formula 1.

Apart from racing helmets, we also stock top-notch race gloves, fire-retardant suits, harnesses, and more. Visit our website today to equip yourself with Formula 1 standard race equipment and gear.  


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