The helmet

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„It's no exaggeration to say that in terms of safety and wear comfort Schuberth today offers the best helmet you can get in motor sport." (Michael Schumacher)

 
 
 

Getting involved in the blue ribbon competition

The origin of the QF1

The safety specialist Schuberth became involved in Formula 1 in the summer of 1999. It was Michael Schumacher's accident at the British Grand Prix that provided the initial incentive to develop a new helmet design. The accident at Silverstone saw Schumacher's Ferrari plough deep into a tyre barrier. It was less the Ferrari driver's broken shinbone than the possible damage to the helmet which prompted the Schuberth engineers to act. After all, the helmet specialists are well aware of the danger of insufficient protection.

Nick Heidfeld's Formula 1 debut came at just the right time. "The helmet technology has developed less rapidly than Formula 1 itself," said Heidfeld, who was looking for a specialist safety partner for his new profession and was the first Formula 1 driver to put his trust in head protection from Schuberth. In addition to the work of the Schubert engineering team and the findings obtained in the company's own wind tunnel, the renowned Fraunhofer Institute and the Aerospace Centre in Braunschweig were also involved in developing the German Formula 1 helmet. And naturally the findings gathered by Nick Heidfeld and his racing team during their test drives also played a role.

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After a development period of around half a year the Schuberth QF1 was granted a licence for Formula 1, the blue ribbon event of motor sport. Schuberth celebrated its premiere at the climax of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix. With the QF1 Schuberth made carbon fibre acceptable as a material for Formula 1 helmets, too. The helmet stood out not only on account of its exemplary safety features, but also because of its low weight. "Over a Grand Prix distance you can clearly feel the difference in weight," explained Nick Heidfeld. In one and a half hours driving time the new helmet reduced the load placed on the driver's body by around one and a half tonnes. "Every gram less which the helmet weighs is an advantage." The significantly enhanced fresh air supply and cooling system were also new. Activated carbon filters freed the breathable air of exhaust fumes and brake dust.

It was no surprise that other drivers looked enviously at the new helmet. For Schuberth, the involvement in Formula 1 as a development laboratory provided important research work for all areas of the company. Originally the helmet producer from Magdeburg did not intend to equip the Formula 1 drivers on a large scale. But since 2001 Schuberth has been only too pleased to welcome Michael and Ralf Schumacher to its exclusive group of customers. And the Schumacher brothers are far more than just customers. Time and again they have been able to provide ideas and have thus been actively involved in development work.

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In the course of its Formula 1 involvement Schuberth has repeatedly attracted attention through numerous innovations. Above all the helmets with integrated light-emitting diodes for gear change and track signals, with head-up displays and the RF1.4 with noise encapsulation and breathing tube caused a real sensation. Novel visors and visor coatings with enhanced properties when it is raining or the light conditions vary, visors which can be securely closed and continuous optimisations in terms of aerodynamics and lightweight construction were more important for serial production of motorcycle helmets. But the developments which in the meantime have led to over 60 Formula 1 victories also include spoilers which can be adjusted specifically to the driver, vehicle and track, and helmets made of environmentally-friendly, sustainable raw materials.

 
 
 
 
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