F1 to ditch Halo in favour of 'Shield' concept
Formula 1 is set to ditch the Halo cockpit protection system in favour of prioritising the newly-introduced 'Shield' concept.
The decision has been taken following an April 25 meeting in Paris of the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission.
Cockpit protection has recently been high on the agenda of the sport, following fatal accidents of Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson – and it was the Halo that initially emerged as the solution likeliest to be implemented by the sport.
That concept has divided opinion, however, with its aesthetics a particular sticking point.
It was tested on various teams' cars throughout the 2016 season and looked on course for introduction this year, before a unanimous Strategy Group vote pushed its introduction back to 2018.
However, during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, the FIA presented the 'Shield' concept - a see-through screen, which does not cover all of the cockpit – to the drivers as an alternative.
And it has now emerged as the preferred method, with the FIA stating: “A number of more integrated solutions for additional frontal protection have been studied, and the decision has been taken to give priority to the transparent ‘Shield’ family of systems.
“The FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during this season in preparation for implementation in 2018.”
Touted as a compromise between safety and aesthetics, the 'Shield' triggered a number of reactions from the F1 contingent.
Among those to have made their views public, Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat and Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean expressed scepticism over the project – and cockpit protection in general - whereas Williams driver Felipe Massa said its safety credentials were a bigger concern than the matter of aesthetics.
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