Henrique Cisneros is a professional race car driver, Chairman, Director & President of the Motorsport Safety Foundation, Co-owner and Director of MOMO Italy, a global automotive safety accessories company and Director at Cisneros Corporation. In Episode 98, Henrique and I discussed health & safety in motorsport and how it's initiatives can translate to other sports like football.
The creation of the Motorsport Safety Foundation was inspired by the tragic loss of Henrique's co-driver, Sean Edwards while he was coaching racing students in Australia. According to Henrique, most races governed by the FIA require the track to meet a set of minimum safety standards. In Sean's accident, the driver, traveling at high speed, crashed into a wall that was supposed to have several rows of tires to dissipate the impact. This particular wall had an insufficient number of tire rows. Ultimately, Henrique felt his friend's death could have been prevented. Partly out of frustration for a lack of consistency for motorsport safety standards and as a way to his honor his friend, the Motorsport Safety Foundation was born. The mission of the Motorsport Safety Foundation is to improve safety in all forms of motorsport. Although the mission may sound simple, Henrique enlightened me on how this is no easy task.
Below are some topics of discussion in this episode:
Why it takes an accident to make changes that improve safety.
Impact causes the most damage in motorsport, so how do you dissipate the impact most effectively?
The inherent risk of speed in motorsport.
One of the HighFives Foundation's 5 critical mistakes
Advances in motorsport safety equipment.
Fire resistant clothing
The importance of educating drivers on safety because ignorance can be bliss.
How even crashing at 40 miles an hour can kill you.
Sharing best practices.
Why the biggest enemy to safety is cost.
Safety is expensive, every new regulation means changes for teams, cars or tracks and they don't all necessarily make the car faster.
How Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s death pushed change and new technology in motorsport safety.
Motorsport Safety Foundation's Initiatives.
Emergency ID Stickers
In collaboration with leaders in the High Performance Driver Education community, the Motorsport Safety Foundation has created standards for the selection, training and certification of high performance driving instructors.
Race with Restraint is a program dedicated to making Frontal Head Restraints (FHR) easily accessible to anyone who goes on a race track. The Motorsport Safety Foundation offers drivers at all levels the chance to rent a HANS Device or Simpson Hybrid for a low fee.
Rental kiosk for restraints
Takes the money excuse away from drivers
Zero One helmet by VICIS – Henrique applauds the company for thinking outside the box.
What is the price on your life?
SG Helmets - Football helmets inspired by motorsport technology.
Using Carbon Kevlar
Weight is the enemy in collisions
How the evolution of motorsport and sports like football are similar.
"The safer the track and equipment, the better the racing"
Concussions in motorsport and the lack of return to drive protocols.
Why danger = Fun
How the younger generation of racers are seeing things differently when it comes to safety.
Culture of masculinity is less prevalent.
The younger generation isn't afraid to speak their truth.
Why making decisions on ego or masculinity never consider safety
Ego over intuition
Another one of the HighFives Foundation's critical mistakes
Story of a personal crash Henrique was in and why the he was lucky the track safety parameters were up to par.
What can other sports learn from motorsports?
The use of sensors.
How sensors can lead to information people don’t want to know...
Why MOMO never skimps on safety.
Why consistency is key when is comes to building a culture of safety.
Brief and debrief safety before and after each event.
Henrique's hobbies outside of motorsport, kite surfing, motorized paragliding. See his video below!