MARCH 25, 2003
FIA stands by HANS device
The FIA has confirmed that it will stick with its desire for all Formula 1 drivers to use the HANS device.
The governing body has informed all Formula 1 teams that there will be no further dispensations, similar to the one granted to Rubens Barrichello in Malaysia and said that "if any driver is unable to wear the device for medical or other reasons, the team concerned will have to replace him, just as they would if he could not wear a crash helmet or seat belts". The FIA reminded teams that they are free to modify the HANS system to suit their cars and drivers, provided any modification is first agreed with the FIA Safety Commission.
The FIA said that "evidence that the HANS system significantly reduces the risk of injury to a driver in a major accident is overwhelming. Teams have known about the system and the proposals for its introduction for more than two years. Indeed the system was officially announced for Formula 1 in April 2001 at the San Marino Grand Prix by the President of the FIA accompanied by Professor Hubbert of DaimlerChrysler (which did much of the development work).
The statement went on to say that "the system can be uncomfortable if not properly adjusted for the individual driver. It also marginally raises the height of the centre of gravity of the car. It would be unfair if some drivers were allowed to race without it. At the same time, the proven safety gains are so great that it would be irresponsible to abandon the system".
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