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F1 Cockpit Protection, Competition Harnesses

Peter Sygieda
Published: 2012-10-15 11:37:06
Last Updated: 2012-10-15 08:54:33

F1 Cockpit Protection  - Part 2

This blog will be about Competition Harnesses in a Formula 1 car as well as other race cars.

F1 Competition Harnesses attach to the car's monocoque. They are made of specially woven polyester and consist of schoulder straps, lap straps and crotch (or anti-submarine) straps all meeting at a central camlock or buckle. Most FIA approved harnesses are made of polyester rather than Nylon since Polyester has a much slower degradation to light (UV), is much more resistent to acids like battery acid and also they do not absorb moisture. In addition, Polyester has a much better force/elongation ratio than does Nylon so this webbing can convert more energy than Nylon can.  

Everyone of us amateur racers is also required to have this type of safety harness in our racecars. There are many different brands of safety harnesses on the market, however the best known and our best seller at Northstar Motorsports are made in Germany by Schroth. Schroth is at the forefront of safety in all forms of competitive motorsport. These Schroth Harnesses have an engineering advantage over the competition, and feature solutions to common installation pitfalls. Schroth harnesses also come in many different configurations and are available in standard 3" widths for lap and shoulder belts and also a  2" lap belt with a 2"/3" combination shoulder strap for use with a HANS Device.  All of Schroth's harnesses are FIA approved so they have an approved life of 5 years. Many belts which are made of Nylon are only SFI approved and are good for only 2 years. So be careful about harnesses that appear to be a "really good deal". Most of these are only SFI approved (rather than FIA) and you will need to replace them 2 1/2 times more frequently than an FIA approved harness.

The idea of the harness in the racecar such as described above is for the driver to be able to undo the belts with a single hand movement so he can get out of the car quickly. It is a simple device, yet responsible for so many saved lives in racing around the world. 

 See you next month for yet another inside the Cockpit Protection blog.

by Peter Sygieda
Sales Manager
Northstar Motorsports