eli5- Why do F1 engineers and other back room staff not even involved in the action wear helmets?
Has a tire ever flown inside any team’s paddock ever?
Shit can get crazy in the paddock. This car lit up after it pulled in injuring 31 and hospitalizing 7. It’s just dudes in shorts trying to fight the fire. I’m glad they’ve improved safety since then.
Engineers and back room staff don’t wear helmets. The only ones wearing helmets are the drivers, the pit crews and the marshalls. The pit crew and marshalls wear them because they have to enter a live race track and there are often instances of them being injured.
Backroom staff don’t wear helmets because they don’t need to.
The engineers and mechanics you see on TV do because they are actively involved in the pit lane. During a race the pit lane can be very dangerous.
Just off the top of my head:
Williams’ pit garage fire at the 2012 Spanish GP sent a bunch of team members to the hospital.
Kimi Raikonnen ran over one of his own Mechanics at Ferrari and shattered his leg.
Mark Webber once left his pit box with a loose tire. The tire came off and bounced down the pitlane and hit a cameraman in the back of the head giving him a severe head injury. Cameramen weren’t required to wear helmets or firesuits. Since then camera men have been forbidden from filming from the pitlane itself.
In 2007 Philippe Massa took off from the pitlane after refueling and caught on fire. The following year he tore the fuel line clean off the refueling rig and towed it down the pitlane. These are usually cited as the incidents that got refueling banned.
Because when tires fly, they tend to kill people. At least with a helmet you stand a chance of surviving. The helmet not so much.