F1 to test cockpit-’halo’ idea in September
"It has been agreed to do new testing"
The death of Justin Wilson, mere weeks after F1’s first race fatality since 1994, has put the spotlight back on cockpit protection.
Before the Jules Bianchi and Wilson tragedies, Felipe Massa was almost killed in 2009 when a flying spring struck his helmet, and Henry Surtees died in a similar incident in Formula 2.
Reports say F1’s governing body is now reviving the idea of cockpit protection — not jet-fighter style canopies, but a solid ’halo’ encircling the driver’s head that was conceived by Mercedes.
"Formula one investigators will renew tests on closed cockpits next month", revealed Times correspondent Kevin Eason.
And a report in Spain’s Marca added: "Yesterday there was a meeting, where the Wilson case was put on the table. It has been agreed to do new testing in September."
FIA race director Charlie Whiting told Reuters: "We have to persevere. We must make something, even if it’s not 100 per cent in terms of protecting the driver under all circumstances."
Following some earlier scepticism, it appears the drivers themselves are also now on board, with former Marussia driver Max Chilton saying: "It is something I think is definitely the route to go.
"It might be in five years, it might be in 10 years, but I can guarantee you there will be covers eventually," he told Britain’s Sky.
And British motor racing figure Trevor Carlin insisted: "If there are obvious solutions, we should pursue them and we should do so quickly and with serious intent."