Technical snapshot – Spa-Francorchamps



Kevin Magnussen’s heavy crash on the exit of the fearsome Eau Rouge corner was particularly alarming in that the Dane’s headrest flew off his Renault R.S.16 while it should have stayed attached to the car. The FIA duly decided to investigate the incident in order to understand why the device separated.

Article 14.6 of the technical regulations state that “all cars must be equipped with three areas of padding for the driver’s head”. What’s more, these should be “arranged so they can be removed from the car as one part”. The headrest’s dimensions, material and protection area are also defined in the rulebook.

The FIA has mandated the use of the CONFORM shock absorption foam manufactured by Aearo Technologies. With the degree of absorption varying with the ambient temperature, F1’s governing body informs teams about the foam they need to incorporate in the headrest: the CF-45 blue spec when it’s above 30˚C – see image above  –; the CF-42 pink option when it’s cooler.