‘Active’ cockpit protection a possibility for F1

Formula 1 strategists are to look into ‘active’ cockpit protection- using state of the art to deflect debris away from the driver.

Yesterday, F1’s Strategy Group voted unanimously against introducing the ‘halo’ concept for 2017 after hours of talks, and efforts are now in place in order to come up with a solution to introduce for the 2018 season.

The possibilities include a re-vamped version of the halo, or a canopy-like system that Red Bull has been testing.

Despite this, it has been revealed that another idea that has come up is an ‘active’ system implemented in the cars, which could be in development over the next couple of years to provide a long-term solution.

What would happen is that there would be a fin-like object fitted within the car, and would not be able to be seen whilst the car is running as normal.

However, due to the latest detection technology, if the car sensed that there could be a piece of debris hitting the driver’s head, the fin-like object would pop up, thus protecting the driver.

It is said that this ‘fin’ would also not restrict the driver’s visibility if it was to deploy.

Hopefully, if this system is implemented, then it will both protect the driver whilst keeping the cars open-cockpit, and maintaining their aesthetically pleasing qualities.

The recent advancement of dictation technology has been great over the past few years, as self-driving cars are starting to be developed by certain manufactures, and by inserting such a system in F1 could improve technology for road-going vehicles.

Despite this, the halo or canopy still remain the most likely options for 2018, and testing has already been planned in order to develop these ideas further.

Some drivers have expressed that they feel that their sight is restricted whilst trailing the halo, and reportedly, one driver claimed to have felt claustrophobic about the central support being in front of his field of view.

Because of this, it has been announced that extensive tests will be expected to take place at the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix’s, so that teams are able to gain a better understanding about wether of not drivers truly feel that visibility is a concern.

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