Three closed cockpit F1 designs to be tested next month

The FIA is now evaluating three solutions for closed cockpit designs in Formula 1, it revealed on Saturday, with the latest tests due to take place next month.

Three closed cockpit F1 designs to be tested next month
FIA closed cockpit testing
FIA closed cockpit testing
Remembering Justin Wilson
Justin Wilson sticker on helmet of Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing RB11 of Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1
Alexander Wurz
Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB11

Motor racing's governing body has been looking at various solutions to help improve drivers' head protection, with calls for action having increased in the wake of Justin Wilson's fatal IndyCar accident at Pocono in August.

One of the key considerations has been to find a way of protecting drivers without it having a negative impact on visibility or extraction by safety personnel – which were factors in the FIA believing a fighter-jet style canopy is not the right solution.

An idea of a forward-rollhoop structure also posed similar problems, with a GP2 test at Magny-Cours conducted by Davide Valsecchi reported to be 'not pleasing'.

New concepts to be trialled

Now the FIA has settled on three possible ideas – a smaller version of the forward-rollhoop design, the halo concept that has been worked on by Mercedes, and a new centreline roll hoop idea, which features three long strips of material that run from the front of the cockpit to the rollhoop.

The FIA's safety director Laurent Mekies said: “We are trying to find concepts that can do the job – and we will find a way that can deal with the other matters [of visibility and extraction]. We are scanning quite a broad range of solutions.” 

2017 introduction possible

With testing of the closed cockpit ideas ongoing, Mekies said that introduction of any design change in F1 would be unlikely before 2017 at the earliest.

“We are at the research stage, and we cannot make anything before 2017 – it is not doable,” he said. “But probably something in 2017 could be reintroduced if we get good results.

“If we don't get good results and we need a better solution then there will be a delay.”

GPDA backs stance

With the FIA having made a presentation of its plans to the GPDA meeting on Friday, its chairman Alex Wurz said all drivers were behind it – including those like Nico Hulkenberg who previously had been sceptical.

“I am not disclosing which drivers want what, but in the case of Nico he changed his mind after yesterday's meeting,” said Wurz.

“100 per cent of drivers are of the same opinion, and have the same feeling and the same direction that we have to stick with the research and we have to accept it will take time.

“The solutions must be safer, and move F1 forward. We don't want to introduce anything which is more negative or jeopardising.”

He added: “We have seen solutions that are not pretty, but first we need to work on the function and then we can work on the style.” 

High-speed camera for 2016

The FIA also revealed that it has begun track testing at F1 races of the new high-speed cameras that will be mandatory next year for improving accident research into how the driver's helmet moves in the cockpit environment during a crash.

Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso tested prototype devices, fitted in front of their cockpits looking backwards at their helmets, during Friday practice in Austin.

shares
comments
Sainz Sochi crash: FIA reveals dramatic new findings
Previous article

Sainz Sochi crash: FIA reveals dramatic new findings

Next article

Ecclestone accuses Ferrari, Mercedes of "asset protection"

Ecclestone accuses Ferrari, Mercedes of "asset protection"
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022