Mike Enayah Managed The Lear Motor-sport Team During The
Development of The F1 Safty Seat
France, Jun 30, 2000- Jaguar Racing, in cooperation with the team's Technology Partner, Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA),
today presented to the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) a new lightweight Jaguar R1 chassis equipped with a
Formula One extractable seat system for use in training sessions for Grand Prix race track marshals.
new Jaguar R1 training chassis, debuting at the French Grand Prix, will be shipped to subsequent Grand Prix races to train
marshals for potential driver extrication. The award-winning extractable seat system was a collaboration between technical
and design engineers at Lear, Jaguar Racing (formerly Stewart Grand Prix) and the FIA. The FIA's Technical Working Group adopted
the technical specifications from the prototype seat designed and developed by Lear and Jaguar Racing in conjunction with
Professor Sid Watkins, the FIA Medical Commission Chairman, and Charlie Whiting, the FIA Safety Delegate. This type of extractable
seat became mandatory on all Formula One cars from January 1, 1999.
The seat is designed for
rapid extrication of an injured driver (30% faster than conventional methods), to prevent further injury and to provide better
stabilization. Track marshals are trained to apply the extractable seat system's head stabilization board, attach the belts
and lift the immobilized driver from his car without causing further injury. Fortunately, the extractable seat has not been
put to the test during the 1999 or 2000 Grand Prix seasons, but each driver now uses a version of the seat made in accordance
with Lear-Jaguar Racing design specifications.
The extractable seat system has earned several
important safety awards. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) presented Lear and Jaguar Racing with its prestigious
1998 Motorsports Engineering Safety Award for "outstanding contribution to state-of-the-art motorsports
Automotive and Transportation Interiors Magazine also
awarded the extractable seat with top prize in the magazine's 1999 Interior Design and Technology Awards' Production Division/Safety
Category. One judge called it "a truly innovative design and engineering solution with easily measurable gains in safety."
Another said, "This concept is particularly commendable because any translation to production vehicles means extending
the seat's safety responsibilities still further, beyond current work with whiplash protection."
In addition to its work with the extractable seat, Lear also worked integrally with Jaguar Racing
to develop the Formula One drivers' seats entirely using computer-aided design. Lear designers use highly specialized modeling
and software to help determine the optimum position to enhance driver comfort, which can have a major impact on driver performance.
Lear also has helped the team focus on vehicle packaging, driver anthropometry (the study of human measurements) and custom
seat design. The new design converted the uncomfortable, old foam seat to new, carbon fiber/kevlar composite structural sheet
supplemented with individualized foam inserts to enhance driver comfort and support. The new seat structure also is lighter,
an important factor in racing.
In the continuing pursuit of improved safety in
motorsports, Lear's engineers have been furthering the art of seating and cockpit safety systems including a new innovative
extractable system to be shown at the US Grand Prix in September of this year. This area represents another opportunity for
Lear to make major contributions to Formula One and motorsports safety, and also to develop safety applications that will
transfer from the racetrack to the roadways.