Bringing a whole new meaning to “speedy recovery”

We all know Formula 1 is a test bed for a variety of technologies that will eventually trickle down to the street. Now, McLaren is taking its go-faster know-how and applying it somewhere a bit unexpected – health care. The body armor you see here was created in response to a client’s request for a device that would help keep his organs protected after undergoing surgery. It’s called Invincible shield, and it protects the rib cage through the use of high-failure strain Dyneema fibers, as well as woven fabrics and a highly-toughened resin system. The construction and materials pull from McLaren’s F1 experience, and includes the same fibers used as side-impact crash protection in the race car. Essentially, this armor is made from the same stuff that’s going into next year’s F1 competitor.

The end result is something lightweight, but tough and rigid enough to protect the client. The armor was designed to be discreet as well, and was perfectly tailored to the client’s body to be hidden under a shirt. Responsible for its creation was McLaren’s Applied Technologies division, which apparently has a hand in developing health care products. “From digital therapeutics, to tailored human performance programs and bespoke medical devices, our aim is to innovate health care solutions that can be tailored for individual patients,” says Dr. Adam Hill, McLaren’s Chief Medical Officer. Yeah, I didn’t know McLaren had a Chief Medical Officer, either.

Continue reading for the full story.

How Else Is This Related To Formula 1?

The Invincible shield was created from a blank-canvas design, and uses similar development technologies as McLaren’s F1 car, including CAD programs and 3D printers. It was even tested in the same labs used to crash test the McLaren F1 monocoque.

“The common thread in all our projects is data,” says Dr. Adam Hill. “We use data to build a digital picture of how a patient is performing or recovering, and then create solutions, or in the case of the Project Invincible, devices, to aid our users.”

Now if McLaren could only invent something that would help me drive like Fernando Alonso…


1993 McLaren F1 High Resolution Exterior
- image 674548

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Jonathan Lopez
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