Aug.7 (GMM) Helmets have been improved in the last eight years, but more work could make them even safer, according to former grand prix driver Luciano Burti.
Some will best remember the now 34-year-old Brazilian for his huge accident at Spa-Francorchamps in 2001, when he survived a head-on shunt into the barriers in his Prost.On his official website, Burti has now revealed photographs of the damage sustained to his helmet in the crash. A frontal angle depicts a gaping hole in the chin section."After Felipe's accident at the Hungaroring, I can see the helmet's evolution since my accident in Belgium 2001," he said, referring to his countryman Massa who sustained head injuries when struck on the helmet by debris in a qualifying incident nearly two weeks ago.Burti was in Budapest at the time and was reportedly one of the first to visit Massa in hospital."Looking at the pictures of my helmet, we can see that if it was made of carbon fibre, like they are today, the damage would have been less significant."This shows the merit of the FIA and helmet constructors on improving drivers' safety," he added.Burti however said he believes visors, although in the case of Massa's Schuberth design are apparently bullet-proof, should be better secured to helmets."You can see on my helmet, even with the strong front impact against the tyre barriers, the visor remained attached because it was fixed by four screws, different than most helmets which have two screws only to reduce weight."He said that with Massa's visor coming loose after being struck by the steel suspension spring, the Ferrari driver was lucky not to have been injured even more severely.