Today’s invention is instead to equip open-cockpit race drivers each with an inflatable suit, which would completely take the place of a seat.
The suit would contain bladders filled with air, providing exactly the right level of support in all the right places.
This would reduce the weight in the car, provide extra lateral bracing during cornering as well as neck protection during braking.
The suit bladders would be deflated to enter the car and on sitting in the bare frame, they would be connected to a source of compressed carbon dioxide.
In the event of a crash, the air bags would help provide protection and certain bladders on the sides of the suit would automatically deflate -helping the occupant/wearer to get out rapidly (It might even be possible then to use impact energy to overinflate bags under the driver’s body, to help lift him out of the cockpit).
The gas would also act as an additional fire retardent.