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Formula 1 to use new side impact system in 2014

F1 to use new side impact system in 2014Formula 1 teams will use a new side impact system in 2014 designed to improve protection in the case of an oblique angle of impact.

The new system, developed through collaboration between F1 teams and the FIA Institute and featured in the latest issue of the FIA's AUTO magazine, was voted through at a technical working group meeting last month.

Research into current side impact technology found it not to be as effective when angles of impact are not square, with Robert Kubica's massive accident during the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix used as a reference point for analysis.

Two different concepts were investigated, one using carbon tubes and the other using crushable carbon sandwich panels, with the the former found to be more effective.

The final specification was produced by Red Bull based upon an initial design by Marussia.

"There were three teams that ultimately submitted impact devices that were subjected to a physical test and ours was deemed to be the best of the bunch so we pursued that device further," said Red Bull head of car engineering Paul Monaghan.

The structures, one of which will be fitted to each side of the car, are designed to progressively crush on impact.

FIA Institute testing proved this design to be capable of absorbing close to 40kJ of energy even at acute angles of impact.

"The tube has a common specification but how teams put it into their cars is entirely their business," said Monaghan.

"The static tests that will be undertaken on the monocoque will determine the strength of the mounts and make sure that they are sufficient to support the tube.

"After that, it's down to the teams as to how they integrate it and how they design their car around it."

He added that the new system is likely to save teams money on crash tests.

"One of the driving forces was to spare teams extra expense in the testing process," he said.

"Assuming everybody has a monocoque which is strong enough and passes the static tests, then they've saved money as they're not doing an impact test."

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