The Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety has taken on more safety research projects than ever before following strong support from the FIA and FIA Foundation.

Following a year of successful projects, including the development of new high-speed barriers and testing of additional frontal protection devices for Formula One, the FIA and FIA Foundation reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Institute to pursue more research projects across all areas of motor sport.

Current projects include:

– Development of additional frontal protection system for single-seater championships, with the Halo now being the preferred option, and due for deployment in 2018 in Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula E;
– Testing of new materials for Formula One headrests;
– Development and testing of new side intrusion panels for lower formulae (F3 and F4) to maintain safety levels whilst minimising costs;
– Development of a new circuit safety barrier and full deployment to cope with Formula One’s increased car speed in 2017;
– Creation of prototype advanced seat brackets for better protection against tree impact for rally cars;
– Analysis of driver position, seat structures and seatbelt positioning in conjunction with Toyota Motor Company for all categories of motor sport including cross country, rally, single seaters, LMP cars, etc.

This research work is led by Global Institute General Manager Research, Laurent Mekies, who combines this with his role as Safety Director of the FIA. He manages a growing team in Geneva that includes Senior Research Engineers Andy Mellor and Matteo Piraccini.

They are joined by Research Engineers Alain Beaufrère and Nikil Abraham (the recipient of the 2017 Watkins Scholarship), with support from Senior Research Advisor Peter Wright, who is also President of the FIA Safety Commission. The operations for the organisation are supervised by General Manager Administration, Quentin Crombie, and overseen by a Board of Directors.

Luc Argand, the Global Institute Chairman, said: “Our research work has accelerated over the past 12 months, thanks to the strong support of the FIA and FIA Foundation. Going forward we hope to take on even more projects, not just for the benefit of major international championships but also the grass roots of the sport as well as projects that will have road safety relevance.”