Why Do F-1 Pilots Wear a Hood under the Helmet?

Do not burn yourself in case of an accident. Like the overalls, this hood is made of a special fabric that does not catch fire and withstands a heat of up to 427 ° C. The correct name of this treco is balaclava, a reference to the old hoods made of small braided rings, used by the medieval knights. “The idea of ​​anti-shrapnel protection under the helmet came after the Austrian Niki Lauda crash at the German GP in 1976. He crashed his Ferrari, got stuck in the hardware and took off his helmet to breathe. But the car exploded and the fire took over the pilot. Lauda has big scars on his face to this day, “says journalist Livio Oricchio, a Formula 1 specialist. Balaclava left a good deal of his face uncovered until the next few years (the photo on the side, with Finnish rider Mika Hakkinen, brings this model old). Today, to increase protection, the balaclava have openings only for the eyes and mouth, where a tube attached to a bottle with water or isotonic enters. The first balaclavas were made of asbestos, a fiber also fire-resistant but less reliable. Currently, they are made with Nomex and Kevlar yarns, two super-resistant synthetic compounds. Another news is that the mechanics who make the pit stop also began to use the balaclava under the helmet to reduce the risk of someone catching fire in the refueling. (I.e.

For two threads Double of fabrics of the balaclava protects the pilot from the flames

Nomex

WHAT IT IS DONE – Petroleum products

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS – Withstands a heat of 427 ° C

WHERE IT IS USED – Firefighter clothing, airplane seats and racing driver uniforms

Kevlar

WHAT IT IS DONE – Petroleum products

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS – Withstands a heat of 427 ° C and is five times stronger than steel

WHERE IT IS USED – Bulletproof vests, protective gloves and aircraft structures