Date: 29th July 2016 at 7:57am
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Back in January of this year, Formula One racers, via the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association were pushing for the introduction of head protection to Formula One.

Discussions regarding enclosed cockpits arise every so often, often prompted by tragic circumstances such as the death of Henry Surtees who was killed during a Formula Two at Brands Hatch in 2009. Or more recently Justin Wilson who was killed after he was struck be debris during an Indy Car race.

In Formula One, there has also been the tragic circumstances which led to Jules Bianchi’s eventual death last year.

This led to the drivers pushing for change.

‘The research the FIA experts have done is very thorough and the process has brought forward a clear solution, Now the drivers feel it’s time to implement the extra protection at the latest in 2017.’ Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alexander Wurz told the BBC.

The ‘Halo’ device was put forward and Formula One first saw the structure in practice as Ferrari tested a version on an installation lap.

The device has a vertical strut support in front of the driver and two arms curl around the drivers helmet towards the back of the car which provides some protection from debris.

It didn’t look pretty and it impaired the drivers vision, which earned the device some negative feedback.

Red Bull Racing then designed and tested a canopy version, which had a screen in front of the driver.

It was more aesthetically pleasing, but development was halted as a decision on the direction Formula One wanted to take was in limbo.

Now Formula One’s Strategy Group has voted against the introduction of the Halo head protection device for the 2017 season.

Instead Formula One wants to evaluate all potential solutions and ‘agreed unanimously’ that cockpit protection should be introduced for 2018.

‘The Strategy Group agreed unanimously that the 2018 season will see the introduction of frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars in order to significantly enhance the safety of drivers. the FIA Statement read.

‘It was decided that owing to the relatively short timeframe until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation.

‘This will include undertaking multiple on-track tests of the ‘Halo’ system in practice sessions during the rest of this season and during the first part of the 2017 season.

‘While the Halo is currently the preferred option, as it provides the broadest solution to date, the consensus among the Strategy Group was that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution.

‘Halo remains a strong option for introduction in 2018.’


 

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