Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have tried a mock-up of Red Bull’s alternative to the ‘halo’ cockpit protection concept.
Unlike the chicken wishbone-style ‘halo’, the Red Bull alternative is essentially an open-topped canopy protected by a forward-facing, bulletproof windshield.
Felipe Massa recently questioned whether the side supports would compromise visibility when drivers are cornering, but after sitting in an early mock-up at the factory Ricciardo said: “I didn’t find the visibility too bad.
“The struts are about where the mirrors are. I haven’t sat in the Ferrari (version) obviously but I just think our system covers a larger area.”
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is no fan of covering the cockpits, but he revealed on Thursday: “I like the Red Bull solution better. Also because there is the shield, so we would be better protected from smaller parts.”
Also with ‘halo’, the issue of driver extraction has been raised recently, particularly after Fernando Alonso quickly escaped from his wrecked McLaren-Honda in Melbourne.
Ricciardo said: “I didn’t find it too hard to get out of the car (with the Red Bull alternative). I think with our version Fernando could have gotten out ok.”
Teammate Kvyat added: “Our system is better than halo. But the windshield is a question mark if for example the car in front of you loses oil.”
Asked what solution there might be for that problem, the Russian smiled: “I don’t know. I would suggest leaving the cockpits open!”