2016 F1

FIA to test closed cockpits for F1 cars next month

FIA to test closed cockpits for F1 cars next month

FIA to test closed cockpits for F1 cars next month


Closed cockpits and fighter jet-style canopy have been talked about for some season with IndyCar and F1, but there has not been significant action towards making it a element of modern racing cars.

Now, FIAS is to carry out more tests on components that could protect drivers’ heads from flying debris, after the latest accident that claimed the life of IndyCar star Justin Wilson.

Wilson, the 37-year-old former F1 driver, succumbed to the head injuries he sustained in an IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania on Sunday.

FIA has tested different methods, including cockpits enclosed by a fighter jet-style canopy, since Brazilian Felipe Massa was hit on the helmet by a bouncing spring in Hungary in 2009.

World’s leading news source – Reuters freshly reported that, an FIA spokesman said the new tests were planned before Wilson’s accident and would take time.

Two new ideas, one from world champions Mercedes and comprising a ‘halo’ or hoop positioned above the driver’s head, would be tried out.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting, the FIA technical head who is in charge of safety, said some sort of cockpit protection would be introduced eventually.

“We have to persevere,” he said. “We must make something, even if it’s not 100 percent in terms of protecting the driver under all circumstances.

“If it improves the situation, it has to be good. There must be a way.”

The debate on how to protect drivers’ exposed heads has been going on for years, and was revived after the death in July of Frenchman Jules Bianchi who suffered severe injuries when he crashed into a recovery tractor at Suzuka last October.

Brazilian former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi said on Twitter that IndyCar had to consider closed cockpits in the light of Wilson’s death.

“Canopies will be used in every single formula (open-wheel) series in the future. Not only for safety, but for aerodynamic improvement,” he said.

Bianchi’s former Marussia team mate Max Chilton, who has raced most recently in the U.S. Indy Lights series, agreed cockpits should be made safer in IndyCars.

“There is definitely room for making them closed cockpits,” the Briton told Sky Sports television.

“I think we can come around and design something where we are safer from debris and head-on collisions into tyre walls or whatever it may be and we can still get out. I think this (Wilson’s death) is definitely going to push that forward.” (Credit – Reuters, Images Created by a Dutch designer Andries van Overbeeke)

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17 Comments
  • Wally Woodruff

    Okay… After reading all these comments, I just had to say…
    You can safety all the excitement out of
    anything (including F1 cars/racing) and yet never make anything completely safe.
    It is just impossible to do!

    I do not understand
    why any driver would want this closed cockpit car as it has as many cons as pros for the driver. If anything was to
    happen, it could inhibit the driver from exiting or being pulled from the
    wreckage. On top of all this I just cannot help but think… Michael Schumacher drove
    an F1 car for 21 years , but it was a skiing accident where he got a head injury.

    The point is… anything worth doing or is fun/exciting to do…
    well it is dangerous and that is life! So, putting a cockpit cover on F1 cars
    is about as good as putting tennis ball on the horns of the bulls used in the
    Running of the Bulls… it looks dumb, it is distracting and it really does not make it any safer.

  • That McLaren Honda looks the business !!
    Best solution is a forcefield around the driver. How quick can the engineers come up with that one ? 🙂

  • Kenneth Rosenberg Pedersen

    And with EJECTER-SEATS – we have more action finding the drivers, when they ascidentel is fired out of their cocpits.. BRING IT ON!!!

  • Lord Yllsacky

    P20 with drive-through penalty.

  • SimesH

    Please qualify this comment then…

  • Lord Yllsacky

    Actually I do.

  • SimesH

    You have no idea about motorsport.

  • David Burrell

    make the side where the helmit it higher and see threw so not to blank out the view and add a vindscreen just a few inches high so the areo will take all the debri over the top of the car its not hard to do

  • mikewmartin

    The engineers would be happy…..

  • 92gsr

    Drivers like to see. That’s the difference between open and closed cockpits. The first complaint drivers make of LMP cars is visibility.

  • Oscar

    Ooohh that car looks magnificent… sleek and sexy machine !!

  • MAGIC M

    Safety first, that car looks awesome.
    Should be faster, more aerodynamic.

  • Ridhuan Abu Bakar

    I agree if this is the way forward for safety. People who oppose these kind of things need to think back:

    1. Carbon fiber monocoque was discovered in pursuit of safety
    2. Suspension tether was discovered in pursuit of safety
    3. Higher side structure was discovered in pursuit of safety
    4. Lower nose was designed in pursuit of safety
    5. HANS device was discovered in pursuit of safety
    6. Flag rules was developed in pursuit of safety

    When the needs and technology are there for improved safety we must pursuit it, not be ignorant and think all these are nuisance. As people it is normal that we continue to improve all aspects of our lives and close cockpit race car IS the future of racing no matter what you think.

    Do you guys still wanna see F1 cars in aluminium chassis driving at 300kp/h today?

  • RIPJUSTINWILSON

    The three clowns below are obvious Nascar fans- #IGNORANCE

  • dude234

    Since you can’t see the drivers anyway, why not make it radio control racing with the drivers sitting in chairs with pedals and steering wheels?

  • Lord Yllsacky

    Good, let’s just put F1 down for good. It’s like an old, sick and senile dog. At a point it just gets painful to watch…

  • Bematta

    Soon we’ll have the cars running on a treadmill too. sad, It’s getting ridiculous now.

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