F1 "too afraid" to commit to full canopy - di Grassi

Audi WEC driver Lucas di Grassi believes Formula 1 is not going far enough with its halo concept and should instead opt for a full canopy solution.

So far, Ferrari and Red Bull have come up with two different concepts for the cockpit-protection system that is set to be introduced in F1 next year.

But former F1 driver di Grassi reckons grand prix racing should follow the World Endurance Championship in using fully enclosed cockpits.

"For me, the optimum solution is a [full] canopy," di Grassi told Motorsport.com. "That's why LMP cars have full canopies.

"It was open before, but then the competition got more difficult and there was more of a need to improve efficiency. It's better for everything, even aerodynamics.

"In my opinion, F1 cars already look old, and the same [as each other]. They keep trying halfway concepts: for example, with the nose – when they came up with these weird concepts and you end up with a Caterham looking like a vacuum cleaner.

"It's like the halfway solution they will do with the canopy – they will go, and then they see it's crap. They are too afraid to commit [fully] and make a complete mess, so they commit halfway and see how it goes.

"I saw so much of this in F1, like with the bigger front wing in 2009 that you can adjust, that was a crappy solution."

The Brazilian feels the full canopy solution would be only beneficial for F1, both from a safety and a performance point of view.

"For me what is important is [for the rule makers] to point out the direction, then leave the engineers to do their work," he said. "Safety is sometimes a different matter, like with crash tests, but with [a canopy] there is no downside.

"It's better for safety, for aerodynamics. I'm in favour of a modernisation of F1. I really like what McLaren proposed and Red Bull in 2010 [the X1]. That for me is the next step the sport should take."

Interview by Jamie Klein

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news