Thursday, 24 November 2011

Schumacher & Hamilton Refuse Helmet Safety Update

Last month at the Japanese Grand Prix, it was believed all the drivers were wearing helmets fitted with the latest safety update designed after Felipe Massa's near fatal crash in 2009.

The new feature on the helmets is a bulletproof Zylon strip across the top of the visors. The downside of the safety enhancement is the strip adds 50 grams of weight to the helmet, and affects the visor tint coatings and also the tear-off strips.

Turun Sanomat reports that the zylon visor is not yet mandatory with Japanese helmet manufacturer Arai's Peter Burger stating "(Michael) Schumacher and (Lewis) Hamilton don't use it because it saves them an extra 50 grams, Perhaps with the g-forces it adds up to a bit more (than 50 grams)"

World Champion Sebastian Vettel does use the zylon strip with Burger adding "I had to carefully explain to him why to use something that is not actually compulsory, It was supposed to become mandatory in Japan but the FIA only sent a letter to each driver strongly recommending that they use it."

The last time Schumacher and Hamilton went against the thinking of most other drivers in the paddock was when the two of them refused to sign a document wanting to ban the (thought dangerous)DRS at Monaco.

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