Red Bull to test alternative 'Batmobile' Halo

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Red Bull plans to test an alternative 'Batmobile-style' version of a Halo closed cockpit system on a Formula 1 car next month, Motorsport.com can reveal.

Kimi Raikkonen caused a stir on the penultimate morning of the Barcelona test when he completed a visibility check on a Ferrari-designed version of the concept.

But Red Bull has been running a parallel design project that is based more around a larger open-topped acrylic shield surrounding the driver, and does not feature the central pillar in front of the driver.

Instead, there will be two smaller columns on either side of the cockpit front.

The acrylic material is understood to be similar to that used in the canopy of the Bloodhound land speed record car.

Show car run

Red Bull plans to run its concept – which sources suggest has been likened to the style of the original Batmobile - on a show car as early as next month.

Team principal Christian Horner told Motorsport.com: "We are aiming to run it on a show car. It won't be a grand prix weekend, but will be a test environment.

"It is a more of a canopy – open topped. So is effectively like a bigger windscreen.

"It is more elegant and hopefully offers better visibility. So let's see what the FIA think of it."

When asked about the downsides of debris or fluids obscuring the screen, Horner said: "Other formulas such as sportscars appear to cope with a screen okay, so it should not be a major issue."

Halo

Horner was clear that he was not in favour of the solution trialled by Ferrari on Thursday, which he feels restricts driver visibility too much.

"Personally I don't like it," he said. "I understand that driver safety is absolutely of paramount importance, but for me I think I am a little bit more of a purist of open cockpit racing that has been there for 60 years - and there is danger associated with that.

"Of course we have to do everything we can to mitigate that. But the protection that is being looked at, the Halo concept, would not have helped Felipe Massa and unfortunately would not have helped Jules Bianchi."

He added: "We have made our suggestion that is more of a canopy, with a slightly more elegant solution. But again you are moving away from open cockpit motor racing.

"As a driver, you have to accept an element of those risks when you get in the car. When I was racing in F3000, you know there is that risk. That is part of the challenge.

"Of course we have to be responsible and we have to look at solutions, which is why it is right to look at it, but I am not a big fan of the Halo as a solution.

There are visibility issues with it, uphill – like coming over the crest in Monaco or up the hill in to Turn 1 at Austin. What is visibility going to be like?"

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news
Tags halo
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