F1 drivers trust FIA over closed cockpits

Formula 1 drivers insist they are more than happy to trust the FIA to do the right thing over better cockpit protection, despite concerns raised after the collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Alonso was launched over the top of Raikkonen as they clashed on the opening lap at the Red Bull Ring– with the bottom of the McLaren coming close to hitting the Ferrari driver's head.

Some suggested in the immediate aftermath that the incident highlights the need for even better cockpit safety – and potentially closed canopies.

Nico Rosberg said: "We know that that’s an area of concern still, this open cockpit and the risks that there are in that sense.

"So of course it’s an ongoing investigation to try and improve the safety, step by step and we need to see what we can do about it in the near future."

FIA trust

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) says that such efforts are ongoing, but need to be considered carefully.

And that is why they are happy to rely on the FIA and the FIA Foundation to investigate things properly rather than make any knee-jerk reactions to rush things through.

Alex Wurz, chairman of the GPDA, told Motorsport.com: “In the past we have always pushed the FIA for this, and you have seen in the last decade or more than the headrests have got a bit higher and they are in a fixed position.

“There is the ongoing debate and research which we are involved in, of covering the helmet of the driver even more, and it goes all the way up to a canopy, which was extensively researched.

“Me as a person I like it, but we have to check if there are any implications caused by a closed cockpit, like extraction from a fire. It is an ongoing topic with ongoing research.

“We are happy with the research the FIA and the FIA Institute are doing. They are doing a top job but we know it is the most dangerous area for the drivers.

“However, it is also a delicate area – and if you do a change it might have negative knock-on effects and we have to be careful with that.”

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news