Bcomp and YCOM have completed a natural fibre FIAS crash test approved by the FIA as Portuguese GP organisers lowers F1 fan allowance.

Having made F1 race seat from natural fibre for McLaren, Bcomp together with YCOM, have now successfully crash tested the Front Impact Absorbing Structure (FIAS) made of natural fibre at FIA-approved test house of Politecnico, Milan, in Italy.

They used a high performance ampliTex flax fibres, which showed the desired result from safety perspective. In fact, Bcomp claims that it also ‘eradicated the danger of sharp splintering’. Additionally, it says the composites waste can be used for thermal energy recovery.

Considering that natural fibre is also environmental friendly, the test helps motor racing community to opt for an alternative to carbon fibre in their machines in future. The downside is that it is approximately 40 percent heavier than the carbon counterpart.

However, natural fibre enables CO2 reduction of approximately 50 percent. “Pushing the adoption of natural fibres requires engineers to integrate it from the first day of the design phase,” said Mario Saccone, YCOM co-founder and composite expert.

“Mastering the full process is the only way to optimize performance and thus increase the competitiveness of sustainable composite materials. We are really happy to collaborate with Bcomp in this development. Motorsport is a forge for new technology development.

“This must be done fast and without any risk of error. YCOM has the right experience to embark on complex R&D projects, with the flexibility of the motorsport approach to accelerate product development,” he summed up.

At the same time, Bcomp’s Motorsports Manager, Johann Wacht added: “This innovation offers new and existing racing series the opportunity to take sustainability to a whole new level. Together with YCOM we have proven that the use of natural fibres is not limited to bodywork. In the right application it is a viable alternative for structural parts.

“By using sustainable composite materials instead of carbon fibre, we can significantly improve the CO2 footprint of high-performance parts and reduce the amount of carbon fibre that goes to landfills. As YCOM has shown, you can do this without compromising safety – actually, without sharp debris, safety can even be improved.

“By combining our sustainable technologies with the exceptional expert knowledge of YCOM we have shown that natural fibres have the potential to be used for structural parts as well as bodywork.” Here’s a small teaser video from Bcomp:

Portugal lowers fan allowance for grand prix:

As was expected with regards to fan allowance reduction, the F1 Portuguese GP organisers have decided to reduce the number of fans allowed for the grand prix at Algarve due to rise in COVID-19 cases. As per Albert Fabrega, the numbers go down from 46,000 to 27,000.

Additionally, Algarve has totally banned the Pawn area for F1 fans as they are trying to allocate as many fans from that stand to still be able to watch the grand prix. For those missing out, they are to get full refunds from the organisers.

The statement from the circuit goes: “As public knowledge, Portugal saw measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic increased last week, by government determination, with a number of additional restrictive measures being in force on national territory.

“As a consequence of these new measures, health and administrative authorities also determined further limitations and prohibitions regarding public presence in the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN GRAND PORTUGAL PRIZE 2020, namely an additional reduction in the total number of viewers allowed, and also the Total ban on viewers in the Pawn area.

“In the face of this scenario, to which we are oblivious, if you so wish, we will return the full value of the ticket and the cost of shipping. Alternatively, we’ve worked on a number of solutions so that Pawn ticket holders can still watch the race, so we’ve created a set of possibilities.

“All communications must be made via email at the following address: peao@parkalgar.com or via the following phone contact (+ 351) 282 405 270. All pawn bench viewers should have already received an email with guidelines and procedures. Thanks again for all the support we have had.

“We’d really like the current moment to be another, so that everything could happen differently, but we have to adapt to situations, as they come across us, and resolve the same within the possibilities available to us. Thank you so much for your understanding and due apologies for the inconvenience caused, to which we are oblivious.”

Here’s Bcomp/McLaren noting of natural fibre F1 race seats

Here’s news on worry for F1 Portuguese GP