Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
4 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
20 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
41 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
55 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
76 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
111 days
29 Aug
Race in
139 days
05 Sep
Race in
146 days
26 Sep
Race in
167 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
244 days

F1 to look at 'active' cockpit protection system

Formula 1 is to investigate the idea of 'active' cockpit protection - which could use state-of-the-art detection technology to pop out of the car and deflect debris away from a drivers' head in the event of an incident.

F1 to look at 'active' cockpit protection system
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Red Bull Halo concept
Ferrari SF16-H with Halo cockpit cover
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
The Halo cockpit cover used on the Ferrari SF16-H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover locks up under braking

While Formula 1's Strategy Group voted unanimously against plans to introduce the Halo for next season after two hours of talks in Geneva on Thursday, efforts are still ongoing to introduce a better form of cockpit protection for 2018.

That could be a refined version of the Halo, or even a canopy system similar to the Aeroscreen idea that Red Bull had been pushing for.

However, sources have revealed that one idea that has come up for preliminary discussion among teams is an 'active' system – which could be developed over the next few years and provide the ideal solution for the longer term.

The idea is that a fin or similar structure would be fitted within the car structure when cars were running normally, and would not be noticeable to the outside world.

However, thanks to detection technology, if there was the risk of a large piece of debris hitting a driver's head, this fin would pop up in front of the cockpit to act as protection.

The hope is that if the system can be made to work then it would deliver the best of both worlds – as it would offer drivers better cockpit protection but without robbing the cars of their aesthetic qualities.

It is also acknowledged that the 'fin' would have to be of such a design that it would not impede drivers' visibility in case it was accidentally triggered during a race.

Detection technology has advanced greatly in recent years as car manufacturers work hard on autonomous cars, and perfecting a system to work in F1 would likely help drive forward road relevant knowledge.

The only tricky aspect of getting the technology to work in F1 is that the speeds involved are much higher than those on the roads.

Spa Halo tests

Although the 'active' cockpit safety system is still only in the idea stage, in the shorter term the Halo or canopy remains the most likely solution for 2018.

The Strategy Group is understood to have been concerned that two of the drivers who had trialled the Halo in free practice sessions had expressed reservations about visibility.

Furthermore, it was reported that one driver felt quite claustrophobic about the central support pillar being in front of his field of vision.

That is why a decision has been made for all drivers to test a Halo in free practice sessions either later this season or the start of next year.

Extensive tests are expected to take place at the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix, so teams can better gauge opinions from a wider spread of drivers to better understand whether or not the visibility concerns are a genuine issue.

shares
comments
Horner: Halo postponed because it needs more development

Previous article

Horner: Halo postponed because it needs more development

Next article

German GP: Rosberg leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP1

German GP: Rosberg leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP1
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger Prime

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

Max Verstappen lost out to Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix by a tiny margin, slipping off the track just as victory was within his grasp. But the painful lesson from defeat can only help Verstappen come back even stronger

Formula 1
Mar 31, 2021