In 2018, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile introduced the halo frontal cockpit protection system into Formula 1. While extensive testing was conducted to confirm that the halo protects the driver from contact, the halo’s effect on the driver during overtaking was not tested prior to its introduction. Here, we describe the effect of a halo-type structure on the neck muscle activity of one of the authors, a national-level amateur racing driver, during on-track simulations designed to practise overtaking. We found that the halo-type structure caused an increase in the rates of fatigue and workloads of sternocleidomastoid and cervical erector spinae. The results suggest that the driver adopted a forward and right laterally flexed head position, presumably to clear the central pillar from his visible field. This has the potential to increase compressive loading of the cervical spine and affect the ability to use visual cues during steering manoeuvres.
- statistics and research methods
- sports and exercise medicine
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Contributors JMM and SMR conceived and designed the assessment. SMR collected, analysed and interpreted the data. SMR authored the manuscript and JMM edited the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests SMR and JMM are partners in R+M, LLC, which offers biomedical testing and training services in motorsport.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethical approval to publish the case study was sort from and granted by an Institutional Human Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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