How to choose a motorsport racing seat

How to choose a motorsport racing seat

A racing seat is recommended when you’re driving in a track setting, whether as a hobbyist or as a professional racing driver entering a championship. If a car is dedicated to racing, then a racing seat should be fitted to give the driver maximum control, comfort and safety whilst in motion. The more suited the fit and comfort of the seat, the better the handle a driver has on the steering and control, too.

Racing seats offer a great deal of safety as well and are specifically designed to offer increased protection in the event of impact and collision: helping the prevention of serious injuries and in some instances, save your life. There are also particular requirements for racing seats across different categories of racing and many require FIA approval across all equipment, including racing seats.

Certification

It’s important that your decision is based upon the regulations for your sanctioning body: choose your seat accordingly, as race category, car and championship type all dictate the seats required for track settings. Most will require FIA approved seating and proof of homologation to ensure safety standards are met.

Budget

A racing seat is an investment and with much of the safety equipment required in motorsport racing, you get what you pay for. Whilst there are many styles of seating and vast differences with price points — with seats looking the same but with heftier price tags — it’s largely down to quality of build, weight, durability (of both construction, material (of which varies) and padding), and attention to detail in the shaping and seamwork of the final product.

Fit and comfort

When choosing a racing seat, it’s important to get a feel for the seat itself and try out the fit, the comfort and how you feel sitting on it, as you’ll be in the seat for sometime during races. Uncomfortable seats can lead to distraction, seats that are too big or too small will also hinder movement. If you’ve not already tried racing seats or know exactly what you’re looking for, we’d recommend going to a showroom or two to try seats before making your decision.

It’s worth considering a seat by the type of racing suit that you’re wearing, as racing seats can be covered with fabric (such as microfibre and mesh) and leather. Certain race suits can slip around on leather and compromise the driver whilst in motion, causing them to move around and slip in seats. This can be especially important based on the sort of racing harness a driver is wearing — especially if it’s not a 6-point harness keeping the driver in position and preventing them from submarining. 

You need to ensure you’re choosing a seat that fits the car as well as yourself, both in width and height, so installation goes smoothly. The option is there to add support and cushioning above the helmet, shoulders and legs, etc. however, you shouldn’t be modifying the mount around the roll cage or frame. 

In terms of racing — speed specifically — consider the support of the seat itself due to the pressure racing places on the driver, and if the side and back support is going to keep you firmly in place, with the harness slots positioned correctly above your shoulders.

Weight

Seats can vary in material used for their skeletal structure which plays a part in the overall performance and weight of the car: from aluminium, fibreglass to carbon fibre, weight differs and with it, so does the price point. 

View our full range of racing seats and FIA approved racing seats, and if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for or if a particular racing seat is appropriate for your category of racing, simply get in touch with the team.