How F1 is going head-first on safety

How F1 is going head-first on safety

In the two years that have passed since Felipe Massa's Hungaroring crash, Formula 1 has been hell-bent on improving head protection for drivers. Dieter Rencken analyses some of the routes being tried and tested

Since its inaugural world championship season in 1950, the appearance of Formula 1's cars has changed radically. The early machines looked like cigar tubes on four wheels, with front-mounted engines driving rear wheels in Systeme Panhard fashion - named so after the layout first used by the now-defunct automobile manufacturer over 50 years earlier.

For most of F1's first decade the cars changed little, save for adopting a more streamlined look. But a major overhaul came at the end of the 1950s when father and son combination Charles and John Cooper introduced mid-engined cars and initiated a significant change of appearance that such a layout dictated.

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