Red Bull have revealed images of a cockpit canopy concept that would be an alternative to the ‘halo’ device that was tested by Ferrari in Barcelona.
The ‘halo’ device is currently favoured by the FIA and looks close to being confirmed as an integral part of F1 cars for the 2017 season.
However, Red Bull believe their version would be a safer option with the screen potentially offering better protection from smaller debris.
The design, which has been compared to that of a jet fighter, has received a mix reaction from around the paddock.
“I really like Red Bull’s jet fighter concept. If we are going for these new racing cars that are supposed to look futuristic, put a jet fighter type thing around it.” Williams’ deputy team principal Claire Williams told Motorsport.com
However, Felipe Massa, whose head was struck by a spring back in 2009, was critical, and pointed out that it may decrease visibility and have an effect on cooling.
“The image I saw of the Red Bull, with two thing [pillars] on the side, that’s where we are always looking.” He said.
“So maybe the visibility would be even worse. And it looks like a buggy.
“Plus with the window in front, how is it going to be with cooling? There are many other things around that we need to understand.”
FIA race director Charlie Whiting was worried that the device wouldn’t be ready for 2017: “It’s considerably further behind in development, it’s never been tested, but it could offer additional protection.
“I’ve got my doubts as to whether it could actually be implemented for 2017, whereas I think the halo could.”