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F1 drivers trial prototype gloves after Grosjean crash

The FIA has allowed Formula 1 drivers to run prototype gloves in practice for the Turkish GP as part of an effort to improve safety standards.

The gloves of Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Gloves have been a focus for research since Romain Grosjean's crash at last year's Bahrain GP, when the Frenchman suffered burns to his hands.

The race wear manufacturers have been exploring ways of improving fire resistance while still ensuring that drivers are comfortable and have a good feel of their steering wheel.

The FIA regulations now allow non-homologated equipment to be used for research purposes.

“The prototype gloves are designed to deliver increased heat transmission protection in relation to the currently homologated gloves," the FIA explained.

"This corresponds to an increase in the time which the glove can be exposed to direct heat from flames before which temperature on the skin reaches a level of significant concern.”

On Friday morning the stewards confirmed that dispensation had been given for five drivers to trial new examples from four different suppliers in practice in Turkey.

The drivers and suppliers concerned are Lewis Hamilton (Puma), Carlos Sainz Jr (Puma), Daniel Ricciardo (Sparco), Sebastian Vettel (Alpinestars) and George Russell (OMP).

The stewards noted: "Since the beginning of 2021, the FIA safety department has been conducting a research project with the target of improving the heat transmission protection of the drivers' gloves.

"The specific changes in glove specification required to achieve this increased protection must be balanced with the levels of comfort and dexterity required to operate the car safely and for extended periods.

"It is considered that any effects of the specification changes on comfort or dexterity can only be evaluated effectively during track testing."

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1018845253-LAT-20211008-GP2116_080719_J5A0105

The stewards confirmed that drivers should normally wear gloves that fulfil FIA Standard 8856-2018, but the rules allow for prototypes to be tried.

"In March 2017 the WMSC approved a proposal which defines a process by which authorisation may be given by the FIA for the use of prototype safety equipment during official testing sessions.

"These products are by definition innovative and so cannot yet be homologated until the regulation is approved by WMSC.

"The safety commission members have recently approved by majority vote a waiver for the prototype gloves, described above, to be used during official and private test sessions of Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship and World Endurance Championship events, for the specific purpose of research."

The use of the gloves this weekend has to be overseen by the FIA safety department, via safety delegate Michael Masi.

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