The fight to defeat an F1 driver's greatest enemy

F1 drivers once raced in shirts and cloth caps. Now they take it for granted that their clothing can withstand temperatures of up to 650ºC. JAMES ROBERTS visits the Alpinestars factory to see the science behind this everyday miracle...

For a long time, fire was a Formula 1 driver's greatest enemy. One of the most persistent arguments against introducing seatbelts was the view that it was better to be thrown out of the cockpit in an impact than to be trapped within a flaming car.

Tireless work by the FIA and clothing manufacturers eventually produced a solution that's now so closely woven into the fabric of motor racing that you'd be forgiven for forgetting it's even there.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Article type Special feature