A racing driver’s work clothes of 60 years ago couldn’t have been more basic, lightweight cotton trousers and a T-shirt, and thin-skinned leather/suede shoes, topped off by a flimsy fabric skullcap.
Over the years the development of flame retardant materials, and in particular Nomex in the 1960s, provided a vital advancement in the evolution of the driver safety apparel.
By 1975, the FIA were insisting that all Formula One drivers wear flame-retardant clothing but with no definitive standard, some drivers were racing and sweating in NASA-specification five-layer suits.
Since then, several new standards have been implemented that address and increase both the safety performance of the suit and it’s components (fabric, seams, zips, embroidery etc), as well as addressing the need for lighter and cooler garments.
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