With the 2015 racing season now complete, EM Motorsport is aiming at new innovations for 2016.

Starting Grid panel & Starting grid console
Starting Grid panel & Starting grid console

An exciting new system has recently been demonstrated which aims to improve safety conditions as part of the race start procedure. It has been tested and used during the start of the GP3, GP2 and Formula 1 races including the final 2015 F1 event in Abu Dhabi.

The dangers of a failed get away or a slow get away at the start of a race are clear to see. Due to the high acceleration of racing cars even over a very brief time the speed differential between a stationary car and a car experiencing a good launch is very high, resulting in the potential for a significant collision.

Currently the Grid Marshalls alert the drivers to the imminent dangers by waving yellow flags at the side of the track. This leads the Grid Marshalls to also become dangerously exposed to the same risk of impact as the drivers.

The procedure also requires that when a marshal waves the yellow flag, adjacent Grid Marshalls also show the hazard warning signal. All marshals are thus forced to look at their own position but also the positions beside and take action when necessary.

Considering the speed and acceleration of the racing cars during the starting phase and the human reaction of the Grid Marshals, who have to interpret the dangerous situation and act as quickly as possible, this can create critical delays in showing the warning signs.

Grid Marshal

The new system developed by EM Motorsport is designed to minimize these delays and ensure better visibility to the hazardous area.

EM Motorsport has introduced a system consisting of light panels controlled by the Grid Marshall, which is essential in these situations. This gives the Marshalls the possibility to show the yellow flags remaining from a safe location with just a simple button click.

As the panels are all connected to Race Control, Race Control now have the possibility to be quickly informed and manage the dangerous race start situations themselves.

In addition to the danger messages, these panels are used to indicate to the drivers their slot on the starting grid just after the Formation Lap. Once the driver has reached his position, the Grid Marshal can communicate to Race control and the Race Director that the car is parked in the correct position. At this point a system based on actuator, moves the panel to the Starting position ready for the Race start.

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