Alonso debuts new Schuberth helmet designUPDATE (GMM) Fernando Alonso has tweaked the design of his helmet livery for his 2010 switch to Ferrari.
Last season, which was the Spaniard's last with the Renault team, the 28-year-old fielded a mainly yellow design, including a red top and flashes and the traditional light blue of his home region Asturias.
Alonso's new Schuberth helmet sports a new design and a unique neck restraint strap mount
But the helmet design worn by Alonso at this week's Madonna di Campiglio winter media event is slightly different, even though it retains the familiar 'arrows' on the top.
Worn when he was slalom ski-racing, and go-karting, with his teammates Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella in the Italian Dolomites, the new helmet has a light blue top.
The yellow and red of the Spanish flag remains, and in fact the helmet is a near reversion to his title-winning design of 2006.
In 2007, Alonso fielded an entirely different black, red and silver livery for his ill-fated McLaren outing in 2007.
01/15/10 It looks like Alonso has a new helmet design, along with his new Schuberth helmet.
We also notice a unique head and neck restraint strap system in the helmet design, that does not look like any HANS device we have seen before. The strap seems to be integrated into the helmet construction itself and wrap around the back of the head inside the helmet shell, instead of the detachable mount we have seen on the widely used HANS device. We will look into this and report back.
Alonso now has the benefit and protection of the same helmet brand that saved Felipe Massa's life last year when he was struck by a suspension spring, at the weakest point of any helmet, right at the visor opening near the brow. The spring struck with the helmet with the force of an AK-47 round. It has been widely stated that Felipe would likely not have survived if he we wearing any other helmet.
We have had the chance to personally meet Marcel LeJeune, the CEO of Schuberth, and see the tremendous lengths Schuberth takes to produce the world's safest helmet. Their helmet tests far above any of the other brands in FIA testing, and far exceeds FIA standards.
Schuberth is a great example of how racing technology trickles down to other products that benefit the public. Schuberth manufactures all sorts of industrial, military and utility helmets, and uses their F1 helmet to showcase, develop and test the latest technologies and innovations.
For instance, when a steel worker puts on a Schuberth helmet, he can be rest assured that if molten steel drops on his head, the helmet will keep his head entirely unscathed. Or, if an electrical worker is standing in front of an exploding power unit, his face and head will be uninjured.
Quite simply, though Felipe Massa's life was the famous one, Schuberth saves lives every day.
We think the real testament to the Schuberth brand, is that they do not give their helmets away. Most helmet companies have a free helmet program for the big name drivers, where they get freebies. Drivers pass on the free deals to purchase a Schuberth, and have even sought to place other helmet brand logos on Schuberth helmets. All of the Schuberth drivers purchase their helmets, paying prices in excess of $5,000 per helmet.
After all, they make enough money not to have any excuse not to wear the very best protection available.
Schuberth currently only makes helmets for f1 drivers, but is seeking to expand their offerings, including USA racing. It seems their intensive approach would require unique designs for the specific forces and risks of each kind of racing. For instance, the forces from an IndyCar impact are going to be much different than a Top Fuel drag racing crash, or from a karting impact. So each type of racing really requires a specific design to ensure the very best protection. We think this will revolutionize the helmet and safety equipment industry in motorsports.
Look for a feature article on the Schuberth helmet soon, as well as a couple of other racing safety devices that have caught our eye!
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