NASCAR made a change for drivers ahead of the 2023 season to protect them in case the unthinkable happens while they’re on the track.
The organization updated its safety rules to require flame resistant undergarments, head sock/helmet skirt, and socks. Athletic noticed the changes on Tuesday. NASCAR pit crew member Bozi Tatarevic added that the mandatory team must be SFI or FIA rated.
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Formula 1’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), required drivers to check for prohibited jewelery and underwear before their races. FIA race director Niels Wittich explained the decision when the organization went to Florida for the Miami Grand Prix.
«The use of non-flame retardant materials in contact with the driver’s skin, and in particular synthetic materials, may reduce protection against heat transmission and therefore increase the risk of burn injuries in the event of a fire,» he wrote. Wittich in a letter, via F1i. .com. «In the worst case, such materials can melt, which can make treatment difficult in the event of a burn injury.
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“The use of jewelry during competition can hinder both medical interventions and subsequent diagnosis and treatment if necessary after an accident. equipment such as a helmet, balaclava, and coveralls.
«In the event that medical imaging is required to inform the diagnosis after an accident, the presence of jewelry on the body can cause significant complications and delays. In the worst case, the presence of jewelry during imaging can cause further injury. Jewelry in and/or around the airway may present specific additional risks should it become dislodged during an accident and be swallowed or inhaled.»
F1 star Lewis Hamilton has taken issue with the new rules, saying «you should be able to be who you are».
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There did not appear to be any immediate backlash from the NASCAR drivers.