What Kind of Gear Does a Racecar Driver Wear?

In every sport there’s some element of danger, none more so than racing. Cars racing in close proximity at over 200 mph for 500 miles is a high-risk sport. It takes a steady hand and nerves of steel to race anything, and Formula 1 and NASCAR drivers are among the best in the world. To undertake such a dangerous sport requires a3 lot of safety equipment. With a high probability of injury during a crash, many safety regulations and devices devised keep drivers as safe as possible. Among them are the clothes and equipment drivers wear for every race. What kind of gear does a racecar driver wear? Read on to find out.

HANS Device

The Head and Neck Support device became mandatory for NASCAR drivers in 2005. It’s a head and neck restraint that attaches the drives helmet to the body rather than the seat. If a crash occurs, this prevents the drivers head from getting whipped around violently. The device looks like a neck roll that a football player might wear with additional support on the chest. Think of it as a second head rest in the car.

Fire Suits

The most recognizable piece of clothing a driver wears is the fire suit. It’s a one-piece fire-retardant jump suit emblazoned with the logo of every sponsor the driver and team have. The fire suit becomes the driver’s and team’s identity, but it’s designed to save the driver life if the car bursts into flames.


A driver’s helmet protects the head in case of a crash. It also serves as the communications center for the driver during the race. A drivers helmet kit plays an important role, which is why there’s a two way radio in the helmet, so the driver can stay in contact with the crew chief. A fresh air tube keeps the driver cool, and there’s a water tube attached to keep the driver hydrated mid race.

Racing Shoes

Like everything else in racing, shoes evolved over the years into a specialized piece of equipment. Drivers don’t jump into the car wearing ratty sneakers. Many companies that make shoes designed specifically for racing. They resemble wrestling shoes that have thin soles and are snug around the foot. The idea is for the shoe to take up as little space as possible, so the foot won’t get hung up when switching back and forth between the pedals. The shoes are also fire retardant like everything else a driver will wear.


The cat is out of the bag, and it’s not pretty. Drivers are in a hot car, staying hydrated for hours at a time, and sometimes, nature calls. They certainly aren’t going to stop the car and use the toilet. Drivers wear a fire retardant (of course) adult diaper under their fire suit for just such an emergency. Most admit that it only happens once or twice a season, but it does happen.



  1. That’s a good idea to make sure that everything is fire retardant. I would assume that would make the driver and his pit crew safer if there is an incident in the engine or something. I have a friend that is into racing his car, so I should recommend that he gets fireproof gear fo his crew so they could be a bit safer in the pit.


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