Strict specifications have to be followed while making F1 cockpits. A car driver should be able to get in and out of the car with just removing the steering wheel. Once in the car, he must be able to get out of the car within five seconds. He must not take more than five seconds to remove or replace a steering.
Survival Cell Structure
The survival cell structure of the car should be designed to protect
the driver in the event of an accident. It must extend at least 300mm
beyond the driver's feet. However, the structure must not cross the
center line of the front wheel. Cockpit opening at the extreme front
must be minimum 50mm in front of the steering wheel. These are the main
requirements for designing a cockpit. Besides these specifications,
there are a host of other parameters also to be followed. Compliance of
the car with specifications is tested by lowering a specially made
template into the cockpit.
The cockpit is made sturdy enough to weather accidents. The basic
principle is that the driver should be able to get out of the car in the
least possible time, and without having to remove anything except the
steering wheel. The front, sides and rear of the survival cell is
guarded by crash-worthy material. There is a mandatory roll-over
protection hoop behind the driver's seat. Cockpit side walls are now
made taller and tougher to increase protection of drivers' heads.