It is an obligatory step for all pilots and one of the first to take each pre-season or when a team starts, as is the case with Alonso. In addition to working on the simulator, the Spaniard dedicated a good part of his first day at the Aston Martin factory in Silverstone to make the seat which will mount your AMR23, a process of vital importance to ensure the good performance of the pilot inside the car and that the British team explains how it is carried out in seven steps.
Each Formula 1 seat is precisely adapted to the pilot and, for this, the first thing you must do is, dressed in your usual clothing (overalls and boots), get on a model of the cockpit or directly to the car that is filled with an expanding foam bag to take the shape of your body. Once seated, the pilot replicates the movements he makes while driving, mainly the steering wheel, and gives instructions on what he prefers, whether to be wedged into the seat with barely being able to move or have a little more space.
Once the foam mold is obtained, The next thing is to scan it in 3D by means of a software to manufacture the model of the seat on which layers of carbon fiber are applied. Afterwards, it is subjected to a drying process and the necessary openings are made for safety devices such as belts or the HANS anchorage. Thus, we arrive at the fourth step in which the pilot intervenes again, who repeats the operation of sitting on the cockpit to test the almost final seat and make the adjustments that you deem appropriate.
Height, last adjustments and final test
When the pilot considers that everything is to his liking, he touches adjust the distance at which to place the pedals, especially taking into account two key aspects: that you can correctly carry out the complete movement of the steering wheel and that the height at which your head remains complies with the specific measures that are regulated so that it is neither too low, so that you can see the asphalt well, nor too high, to prevent the helmet from protruding above the Halo and hitting the ground in the event of a rollover.
Before hitting the track, there is still room to make some final adjustments such as padding some parts to make the seat more comfortable or applying gold foil to the rear to protect the rider from the heat coming from the engine. And now yes, it is possible to give way to the definitive test, to ride on the asphalt, where the pilot will really approve the seat or ask for more modifications. Some minor adjustments can be made or, if necessary, repeat the entire process and make a new seat.