Since the mid-1980s, Formula 1 started to feel safer. Drivers were starting to have major accidents and walk away with relatively no or minor injuries. It then came as a significant shock that two world-class drivers, Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger died in the same weekend at Imola in the early 90s. After this event, huge alterations were made to the cars to offer greater protection to the drivers without sacrificing performance. With a large number of commercial vehicles’ safety setup being reverse-engineered from Formula 1 cars, it is of no surprise that Formula 1 is at the forefront of the current automotive world.
Composites such as carbon-fibre have revolutionised road safety and due to its lightweight integrity and energy absorbent structure it was born into the world of motorsport before emerging into the commercial market. We’ve witnessed high-speed crashes from the likes of Mark Webber’s backflip, Robert Kubica’s barrel-roll and Fernando Alonso’s cartwheel this year, all being able to walk away from the wrecks within a matter of seconds. The chances of impact-crashes resulting in fatalities have been significantly reduced with the introduction of energy-absorbent frames which direct the force of a crash around the driver rather than being the central point of impact. Evolution in safety has certainly gone the distance and giants such as Tesla are taking it one-step further with autonomous safety within everyday road-cars.
If you’re driving a car built within the last decade you’re highly likely to be benefiting from the technology and safety advancements made in Formula 1.
Hedsor House has a long and vibrant history with the automotive industry – the house was owned by Fiat Grand Prix driver D’Arcy Baker in the early 1900s. As a venue we take particular pride in the automotive events we have had the privilege of hosting. Come along and experience the house and Hedsor hospitality for yourself on Tuesday 26th April from 11-4pm at the inaugural ‘Inside Automotive’ event. For more information or to claim your complimentary VIP guest passes visit www.hedsor.com/insideautomotive
By Nick Gardner, Corporate Relationship Executive at Hedsor House and Motor Racing Enthusiast