Horrible Bianchi crash rises question of enclosed cockpits, again

F1 protagonists are against the idea.

Separate to the circumstances of the Jules Bianchi crash, however, is a discussion about arguably the last remaining true vulnerability when it comes to F1 cars - the drivers' exposed heads.

After Felipe Massa's 2009 crash, and again in 2012 when Maria de Villota crashed during a Marussia test, F1 and the FIA looked deeply into the possibility of enclosing the cockpits with a forward roll-cage or canopy.

Try telling that to the Bianchi family, though.

Oliver Brown, Telegraph correspondent

But Germany's Bild newspaper reports this week that Red Bull and Mercedes were the most opposed to the idea, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner saying the proposed solutions were "shockingly ugly".

The issue was then sidelined completely when Bernie Ecclestone argued that closed cockpits were contrary to the basic idea of F1, Bild claims.

"Try telling that to the Bianchi family, though," correspondent Oliver Brown wrote in the Telegraph.

"The sanctity of no sport is worth protecting so ferociously that it compromises the sanctity of human life."

No deaths in F1 for more then 20 years

On the other side, there are those who insist F1 should not overreact after Bianchi's crash.

One of them is Mika Hakkinen, even though his life-threatening crash in 1995 preceded F1's move to raise cockpit sides to better protect the drivers' heads.

"After this (Bianchi's) accident, there will certainly be a comprehensive analysis," the Finn, who went on to win two titles after returning in 1996, said.

"But we also should remember that there have been no deaths in Formula One races for more than 20 years," he said in an interview with his sponsor Hermes. "That's a long time."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Felipe Massa , Maria de Villota , Bernie Ecclestone , Jules Bianchi
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news
Tags bernie ecclestone, christian horner, mercedes