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Impact testing

The nose box crash test. Lotus F1 Racing Factory Shoot, Hingham, Norfolk, England, December 2009 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 crash out at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012

Formula One cars must pass strict impact tests to ensure they meet the necessary safety standards before they are allowed out on track. 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.