FIA Race Director Michael Masi elaborated on the new gloves they trialed in F1 Turkish GP as Daniel Ricciardo shares his view regarding the same.
The first real-world test of new gloves designed to improve fire protection for F1 drivers yielded positive results during Turkish GP. These were designed in the wake of Romain Grosjean’s accident last season in Bahrain were tested by several drivers, as FIA readies takes another step towards better safety.
The new gloves in question have been designed to reduce heat transfer to a drivers’ skin when exposed to direct heat. They are intended to provide around one-and-a-half seconds of extra protection compared to the previous design of the gloves. The hope of the FIA and its team is that the new item does its job in protecting the drivers in horrific incidents.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Williams’ George Russell, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo tested the gloves with the McLaren man offering an interesting opinion on the gloves to say the least.
“I knew that I was going to use them but after the fact, I didn’t know I used them,” said Ricciardo to media including FormulaRapida.net. ‘So I’m trying to say that’s a good thing – I didn’t notice the difference. But I’m not very fussy with my kit and stuff, so I’m not that particular. But it was completely fine for me.
“It’s a nice addition without any downside, really.” Elaborating more on the gloves, FIA Race Director Masi noted why they brought the changes they have with the gloves and how Grosjean’s incident helped them to enhance safety of the F1 drivers in future.
“As a result of Romain’s incident, it was an area we started working on immediately,” said Masi to written media. “We identified very quickly that was an area that could be improved, together with the manufacturers. The test identified minor areas of potential improvement for the new glove designs. The initial feedback from the drivers is all good.
“There’s a couple of little fine-tuning elements with a couple of the brands, but nothing insurmountable from that end. So we’re very grateful to the drivers and the teams involved to actually run them and it shows that we’re trying to increase those levels of protection as much as possible. It sounds minimal, but as we’ve seen in those types of scenarios, every tenth of a second, millisecond counts.
“The increased protection must be achieved while maintaining the dexterity required to operate the many buttons, switches and dials on complex Formula 1 steering wheels. We can’t completely change that side of it because they’ve got to have that level of feeling, particularly with something like their gloves with everything that they have to operate.
“So that’s why we have this practical test to get their feedback in a real-life situation,” summed up Masi. Indeed, the past has seen too many of those and nowadays it has become so rare for a driver to be involved in such an accident like Grosjean’s. A driver must be able to extricate themselves from a car within 10 seconds. Should fire be a factor, these new improved gloves from FIA along with the other fire proof kit can only be a plus.
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Here’s news on FIA testing the gloves