Formula 1

FIA Approve New Advanced Debris Fencing

2 Mins read
Credit: Geobrugg AG

In Formula 1 and in Motorsport in general, driver, fan and marshal safety is always paramount, which is why the FIA approving new advanced debris fencing is excellent for the motor-racing world.

Swiss development company Geobrugg, have been working on new advanced debris fencing which will not only improve driver safety but also spectator visibility. Motorsports Governing Body the FIA, approved the new fence design which enables wider spacing between fence posts, improves driver safety, fan visibility but also increases the sustainability of Grade 1 circuits.

The fences will be used at Grade 1 circuits that host Formula 1 and other top-level championships across the world. Before the fences were introduced, steel fence posts were found four metres apart, the new fencing will see that distance increased to six metres, therefore reducing the chance of a driver having an impact with a steel fence post.

This would theoretically reduce the strength of the catch fencing in theory, however as well as the posts being further apart, the catch fencing has seen an increased cable diameter of 16mm in combination with high tensile helix spirals to connect the cable to the mesh. The fencing was put through rigorous testing to get FIA approval.

The tests included a 780kg sphere fired at it from a cannon at 60kph and a full-size car impacting at 150kph. After successfully passing the tests, Geobrugg found that the 6m post solution further increases the safety for open cockpit series and bike riders, by decreasing the likelihood of impact with a debris fence post. 

As well as safety being improved, the new fencing also majorly improves a circuit’s sustainability. Geobrugg is expecting to be able to put up to 600m of debris fence in one 40 foot container, as opposed to 400m, which will reduce shipping weight and transport emissions. Furthermore, the reduction of posts leads to less concrete foundations and faster installation rates, with a 25 per cent reduction across all areas.

Jochen Braunwarth, Geobrugg’s Director of Motorsport Solutions believes the company have achieved what they set out for, and that it will massively improve every aspect of a Grand Prix.

“We aimed for no less than a revolution in debris fences. A massive impact on sustainability whilst trying to improve safety and installation friendliness of the system was our goal. I believe we have achieved this and more. Circuits looking for a more sustainable solution and improved spectator experience shouldn’t look any further.”

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