Hi, I’m Scott Mansell and welcome to the Driver 61 Channel. Now, as you may know, I usually focus on driving technique in my videos. Today, I am going to look at one of the most important pieces of safety equipment in Formula One, the HANS device. Before I get into the video, I would really love to hear your opinion in the comments. Do you feel that Formula One should keep on striving to make itself safer and safer for the drivers? Or do you think that Formula One has been sanitized far too much and it’s lost some of its edge? As I said, I’d really like to hear your opinion about this in the comments below.
Here we have a HANS device. This is quite an old HANS device. It’s just one that I’ve got in my office here on display. As you can see, it’s made out of carbon fiber. It’s designed to protect the driver’s head and neck when they’re in a frontal impact when they’re in a frontal crash. In case of a frontal impact, the HANS device or Frontal Head Restraint keeps your head, neck and thorax moving constantly together so you don’t get that whiplash effect.
It does a similar job to the frontal airbag in your road car in case of an accident, where it reduces the potential for whiplash and prevents a basal skull fracture. Basically, it goes over the shoulders of the driver just like this. You will have seen all of the Formula One drivers wearing these when they’re racing. They’ve in fact been compulsory in Formula
One since back in 2003, and for good reason. It really reduces the risks of a neck injury if you do have a frontal crash.
I’ll just explain how it works. Basically, you have these tethers on the back of the HANS device here, and you can see that they slide. They connect with this metal part just here, onto the helmet. You can see they just clip onto the posts on the back of the helmet here, and then you can see that it’s connected to the HANS device. In the event of an accident, the driver’s head may come forward, and the two tethers at the back stop the head from coming forwards too much and having a basal skull fracture just down here.
As you can see, the tethers actually slide in the back of the HANS device here, which means that the driver can actually look across into the corners. When they first came out actually, they didn’t have this sliding action on the back and they were just pinned in one direction. It was actually quite difficult at points to look across into the corner because they didn’t slide at the rear.
The HANS device is part of a system. It obviously works with the HANS posts in the back of the helmet here. It’s also vitally important that it’s used with the big harnesses that you see in racing cars. If you don’t have those harnesses to keep the yoke of the HANS device in place, then the HANS device is actually useless. For example, you couldn’t use this with a normal road car seat belt because we need to have this yoke part, the part that comes over your collar bones here, in a strong position so we can keep it down when the head comes forward in case of the frontal impact.
If you enjoyed this video and you’re interested in more Formula One driving technique videos, please be sure to subscribe to the Driver 61 Channel. That’s all for this video. Thank you very much for watching. Let me know if you’d like me to explore more about the Formula One driver safety devices and about Formula One technology, as I’ll be interested to look into those topics for you. Thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you next time.