Written by Hugh Waring, edited by Harshi Vashee
The FIA has approved a new advanced safety debris fence system for grade 1 circuits.
A new fencing system created by the Swiss company Geobrugg has received homologation by the FIA that will be fitted across grade 1 circuits.
The new debris fence system has been created to be strong enough for larger gaps between the steel posts that can hold up the structure entirely. This consequently will lead to fewer steel posts needed - allowing greater viewing opportunities for spectators.
Previously, fences at grade 1 circuits had 4 metre gaps between each steel post. The new homologation allows this gap to be increased to 6 metres while still allowing the levels of safety to be maintained. In addition, these increased gaps allow a lesser chance for motorcycle riders and open cockpit cars to impact these steel posts.
The new homologated fences also bring circuits a greater sustainability option as the reduced amount of steel posts and can offer fewer containers needed to ship across the globe. This also means a reduced amount of concrete foundations needed.
Geobrugg’s director of motorsport, Jochen Braunwarth stated, "We aimed for no less than a revolution in debris fences”.
"A massive impact on sustainability whilst trying to improve safety and installation friendliness of the system was our goal. I believe we have achieved this and more. Circuits looking for a more sustainable solution and improved spectator experience shouldn't look any further."
He also noted that the new steel fence posts will use a larger 16mm cable that also uses high tensile helix spirals that will bind the cable to the mesh netting.
The test underwent a 150km/h impact test with a full-scale car to test its reliability and effectiveness to simulate racing situations.