It has emerged that the new zylon visors on driver helmets saved Max Chilton from serious injury after the Briton was hit by debris during the German Grand Prix.

It is believed a pebble was flicked up by a car in front of Chilton and hit the Marussia driver on the helmet during Sunday's race. Race Director Charlie Whiting has taken possession of the damaged helmet, which can be seen here.

The new bulletproof visors were introduced after Felipe Massa's near fatal crash when he was struck in the head by a spring during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

It comes as safety is again at the top of F1's agenda after a marshal was killed at the Canadian Grand Prix, four high-speed tyre blowouts at the British Grand Prix and the injuries sustained by a cameraman after a he was hit by a flying wheel during the German Grand Prix.

In response to that final incident, it has emerged that helmets could become mandatory for team or other personnel in the pit-lane during the race; all accredited media will be told to stand on the pit wall.

The FIA also wants to fast-track a regulation coming in 2014 which reduces the speed limit in the pit-lane from 100kph to 80kph. 

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh backed the new push, claiming F1 had "become a little bit complacent" about the safety issue.

Despite that, former triple world champion Niki Lauda, who himself was nearly killed after suffering severe burns in a crash on the Nordschleife track at the Nurburgring said the mandatory call for helmets is "crazy". 

"I'm all for safety," he told Osterreich, "but that would be an overreaction."


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#Formula 1