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Impact testing

Formula One cars must pass strict impact tests to ensure they meet the necessary safety standards. The tests must be carried out under FIA guidelines and in the presence of an FIA technical delegate.

The cars undergo a front, side and rear test. The tests focus on the car’s survival cell, which must be left undamaged by the impacts. All structural damage must be limited to the car’s impact absorbing structures, for example, the side-pods, the nose etc.

The car’s steering column must also pass an impact test, which simulates the unlikely event of a driver’s head striking the steering wheel. The column itself must deform to absorb the majority of the impact and the wheel’s quick release mechanism must not be damaged.

Impact testing - Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.06 has a huge barrel roll at the start of the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Race, Indianapolis, USA, 2 July 2006. World © Sutton
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