F1 Technology Makes Mercedes-benz Slr Mclaren Safer

By: Anthony Fontanelle

At the Canadian Grand Prix, the life-saving property of carbon fiber is demonstrated when BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica sustained only a minor concussion and a sprained ankle after a 250 kilometer per hour, 75-G crash. Less than 24 hours after the accident, the Polish Formula One driver was released from the hospital.

The use of carbon fiber on Formula One cars is mandated to make sure that the cars can adequately protect the drivers in the unfortunate event of a high speed crash. Mercedes-Benz of course has its tie with McLaren in Formula One and it comes as no surprise that the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren should be made safer by suing F1 technology.

The sports car co-developed by DaimlerChrysler and McLaren Automotive is designed as a supercar thus it can reach very high speeds. This of course presents the issue of protecting the occupants of the car in the case of a crash. To make the SLR McLaren Roadster safe, the developer uses carbon fiber extensively in the manufacturing of the SLR McLaren.

In the unfortunate event of a head-on collision, the carbon fiber materials protect the passenger and the driver inside the car. Even on side or rear collision, the high strength material can adequately protect the occupants of the vehicle even on high speed traffic accidents.

"Naturally, it is not possible to completely transfer Formula One technology into a vehicle intended for everyday use, in which comfort criteria also need to be taken into account," said Dr. Rodolfo Schoneburg, head of Passenger Car Safety Development for Mercedes-Benz.

"For example, you cannot expect the driver of a series-production sports car to either wear a helmet or use the HANS Head And Neck Support system that is prescribed for racing cars to protect those parts of the driver's body. However, we do capitalize on the positive properties of the high-tech materials used in Formula One to offer those traveling in the new Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster a standard of safety that is unmatched, even in the realm of super-sports cars."

The presence of carbon fiber in the SLR is unique due to the fact that few supercar manufacturers use carbon fiber extensively on their production vehicles. One of the reasons for this is the complicated manufacturing process involved.

But with McLaren and Formula One partner Mercedes-Benz having years of experience in developing their race car made out of carbon fiber has given Mercedes-Benz the advantage of expertise in the production of the needed carbon fiber.

The front end of the SLR McLaren is fitted with carbon fiber materials. The material's capacity to absorb huge amount of energy makes it possible for a passenger of an SLR McLaren to Escape with only minor injuries after a high speed crash.

With the use of carbon fiber on the SLR McLaren, the car became not only a superfast and a very good looking machine but a safe one as well. The carbon fiber materials used in the SLR complements all the other parts used in the assembly of the car even down to the .

Aside from being safe, it is of course expected that the SLR has the driving dynamics that Mercedes-Benz and McLaren cars are known for. While the SLR McLaren Roadster cannot catch up with the MP4-22 currently used by McLaren this season, the SLR can stand its ground in terms of performance and safety.

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