Analysis: MADMAT fuel safety system a no-brainer for F1

As part of the MADMAT evaluation, the manufacturers demonstrated the product to the FIA and Formula 1 team personnel at Barcelona

Analysis: MADMAT fuel safety system a no-brainer for F1

F1 set for new fuel safety system

Race director Charlie Whiting and his technical team, plus representatives from F1 teams, were invited to the demonstration. Additionally I was the only journalist there.

MADMAT's representatives set up two one-metre square floors.

The first was a simple aluminium pan with no flooring system to replicate a normal garage floor.

Then there was the MADMAT floor, with an identical floor pan, but with the aluminium wadding and floor panels mounted above it.

They had five litres of regular petrol poured into them and then ignited remotely with an electrical spark.

Both floors were immediately ablaze.

As you can see from these pictures, the conventional floor was soon entirely covered with a huge raging fire, with flames jumping over five feet in the air and a thick plume of black smoke rising up into the air.

Just a few metres away, the MADMAT floor had a low fire in a small area of the floor - and more importantly very little smoke.

The stark comparison between the two fires was evident and the fear that the conventional floor fire may have occurred in the tight confines of pit garage was sobering.

But the overall impression of the fire suppressant properties of the floor was best felt by my cheeks.

On my right, the conventional floor some 30-feet away was heating up the side of my face.

On my left, there was no obvious heat from the MADMAT floor. Indeed I'd have felt comfortable walking right up next to or even standing on one of the non burning areas of the floor panel.

After the demonstration, it was clear that the flooring did exactly what it set out to prove.

The feeling among those present that it was a "no-brainer" to progress with plans to introduce the safety flooring into the team's garages.

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Formula 1 set to introduce new fuel safety system
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