No one goes through putting the fingers in a plug with wet hands or eat vegetables without washing them properly. Likewise, no one stars a car without wearing the security belt. That is the same than in Formula V8 but with an exception: apart of using the security belt, the cars have have incorporated thousands of tools that provide greater safety to the pilots. One of these tools is the hans: Head And Neck Support Device, an innovative safety device that has been compulsory since 2003. The reason why they put thIS device was clear: the whole body was attached to the car thanks to the seat belt, but not the head.
Let Nelson Mason (Teo Martín Motorsport) explain to us how does it work: it conects the head to the body reducing the risk of fracture of the skull or neck, which is the main cause of death in racing accidents. How does it do that? It is a device that keeps the helmet attached to the body of the pilot and does not let it make sudden movements. It connects with anchorages to the own helmet giving the security that the situation requires.
It is not to be taken as a joke and, if not, ask Fernando Alonso. The Spanish driver had a fatal crash on a curve in the Melbourne Gran Prix while he was driving at more than 300 km/h. Thanks to the Hans he was unharmed and took off the car on his own foot. Ralf Schumacher in USA in 2004, Christijan Albersin in San Marino in 2006, Robert Kubica in Canada in 2007 or Heikki Kovalainen in Spain in 2008 succumbed to the same fate than Alonso due to the Hans
Today it is much easier to talk about how the Hans helps in the safety of races but we cannot mention those who left their lives on the ground: Roland Ratzenberger, Bill Vukovich, Tony Bettenhausen, Adam Petty, Tony Roper, Kenny Irwin, Neil Bonnett, John Nemechek, Blaise Alexander, Dale Earnhardt, Clifford Allison. Jovy Marcelo, Gonzalo Rodríguez and Guillermo Castellanos.