Saturday, 8 August 2009

Massa's accident prompts a change in the design of helmets

Following the accident of Ferrari's Felipe Massa during the Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying, Formula 1's helmet manufacturer Schuberth has reacted immediately by launching a revised version of its helmets. Seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher, who is temporarily replacing Felipe Massa at Ferrari, will be debuting the revised helmet at the forthcoming European Grand Prix.

Although Massa's carbon fibre Schuberth helmet withstood the force of the 800 gram steel spring hitting at more than 160mph, the left visor mounting was knocked off. Schuberth has now added a titanium disc at the transition from the visor to the helmet, where previously there was only plastic. Schuberth said that they made this change as a reaction to the accident, so that the mounting of the visor is now twice as strong.

Schuberth GmbH is a German helmet manufacturer who supply helmets to both the Ferrari drivers and also to BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Williams' Nico Rosberg.

According to German newspaper Bild, Schumacher's Schuberth RF1 helmet - with a slightly modified livery for his Formula 1 comeback - costs about 12,000 euros.

Schumacher said last month that he plans to come out of his retirement to partner Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari from the forthcoming European Grand Prix, until Ferrari's regular driver Felipe Massa is fit enough to come back to Formula 1.

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