A project for improving the vehicles

The main idea of the Sigma G.P. is to get the racing car to be a research and study instrument for new ideas on safety for cars in general. Therefore we didn’t intend to create a new racing formula, but to build on the mechanical parts of an actual F1 a car prototype which gathers original concepts and devices both on active and passive safety. As a starting point we have chosen the F1, because it represents the most advanced achievement in the research in the competition car field and not bound by economic problems.




Extreme attention to details

The prototype that Pininfarina built was characterized by:

Antishock frame at differentiated resistance

This structure is fundamentally made of two longitudinal beams which extend from the front end as far as they reach the engine housing; these beams have a diminishing section towards the front part of the car, and this section has been calculated in such a way to give the most of stiffness of the central part where the driver is sitting. This central part, or cell, has been dimensionally defined following the experimental data about the “survival space”, taking care of the particular driving position of the driver and of the special safety belts adopted. To reach this aim, the parts of the car which surround this cell are calculated as to be ad deformable as possible in order to absorb the most possible part of the energy derived from the crash and to transmit to the driver’s cell only the fraction which the human body can support. The wing supports, the roll bar and the head-rest are structurally integrant part of the cell.


The Sigma G.P. is surrounded by a ring made by elements with omega section which has the function of supporting without deforming itself, the light shocks and grazings which happen in racing between cars at a low relative speed, and besides of avoiding the hooking which are so frequent between cars with uncovered wheels. These elements are deformable, too, in the case of violent crashes.

Fuel tanks

The car is equipped with special fuel tanks realized by the Pirelli Co. and derived from a study in cooperation between the Pirelli Co. and the Pininfarina Co. They can deform themselves very much, are insulating to heat, resistent to perforation and selfextinguishing. The thanks are placed in the side and out of the cell, between the deformable part of the cell. The fuel pipings are realized with armoured pipes, interrupted by selfsealing connectors so that in case of crashes the piping doesn’t break, but the selfsealing connector loosens without consequent fuel losses.

Fire extinguishing system

The fire extinguishing system of the Sigma G.P. has been realized by the English Graviner Company. It is constituted by a type “Sprinkler” with double circuit system placed in the cockpit and in the engine housing; in the case of a crash three inertial switches calibrated at 3 g., placed following the three principal axes of the car, operate automatically the installation. On the contrary when a spontaneous fire happens, three fire detectors turn on a warning light (with its own separated test circuit) placed in a very visible position on the dashboard; in this way the driver can reach a safety position and operate the system switch.

Safety belts

On the Sigma G.P. there are special Repa safety belts of a new kind. These safety belts have 7 branches, of which 6 are for the body and one for the helmet; their connections are placed on rolls which, in their turn, are set on the indeformable cell; these rolls, above a certain traction, let the belts gradually slide always at the same tension, in order to avoid that the belts, as in traditional cases when they are rigidly set, damage the driver. These belts have been tested at the Berlin Polytechnic both on manikins and on people sitting on sledges and subjected to violent decelerations.

Protection against oil losses

In the car it is foreseen under the engine and the gearbox a protection in order to avoid eventual oil losses to fall on the asphalt. This protection is aerated and contributes to cooling the inferior part of the engine.


The Sigma G.P., completely realized in light alloy (avional and anticorodal), in endowed with a wing giving a negative lift: the profile of this airfoil is a laminar one of the series NACA 64000, modified by the Polytechnic of Turin for a study of the National Council of Researches, in order to have the best negative lift together with the least aerodynamical resistance.



An International team

Because the variety of topics interesting the project of a car of this kind, the study has been treated by the following work group: Automobile Révue, Carrozzeria Pininfarina, Prof. Dr. Ernst Fiala Polytechnic of Berlin, Paul Frère, Ing. at U.L.B. and Dr. Med. Michael Henderson.

The realization of this project has been made possible by the cooperation of Ferrari Co., which has besides placed at our disposal the main mechanical parts. We have used parts placed at our disposal by: Ate – Teves for braking system, Graviner Ltd, for the fire-extinguishing system, Pirelli for the fuel tanks, Repa for the safety belts. Besides, the work group has followed technical advices of the Fiat and Mercedes Benz Co.