FIA announces new safety initiatives after review of 2019 fatalities

The FIA has revealed a host of new safety initiatives for its various racing series, including Formula 1, after conducting a review of the 28 serious and fatal accidents that took place under its purview in 2019.

Conducted by the FIA’s safety department, together with the local sporting authority in the country in which each incident occurred, the governing body has offered a series of new safety recommendations to prevent the repeat of incidents such as the one that claimed the life of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert during the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Specifically related to that crash, the FIA is advising a review of front and side impact structures, as well as the associated compatibility of the survival cell in withstanding such collisions.

Among the other areas discussed, front wing designs and their attachment have been earmarked for review, with the intention of mitigating “the loss of complete front wing assemblies and the safety risks associated with this type of failure” and possibly implementing “controlled failure” points.

Improvements to headrest design and fixation, and the currently retrofitted front anti-intrusion panel are also recommended, as is the implementation of an electronic early-warning system for situations where a driver does not have line-of-sight with an incident up ahead.

In the short term, the FIA is also proposing that already-implemented electronics such as rain lights might be used to convey additional information, while in the long term, that there is the “development and deployment of a range of advanced marshalling systems, incorporating features such as automated yellow flag generation, direct car-to-car notification of dangerously positioned stationary cars and possibly even the coordinated power reduction or redirection of cars following an incident.”

Outside the car, further goals are to institute a better tyre pressure monitoring system that could give advanced warning of punctures, better barrier performance for shallow-angle impacts, and more efficient “deceleration solutions” for out-of-control cars in run-off areas.