MARCH 3, 2016
Red Bull to test F1 cockpit canopy in April
Red Bull will test its own proposed solution to the issue of cockpit protection later this month.
On Thursday, Ferrari surprised the F1 world when Kimi Raikkonen emerged from the pits for his installation lap with a black 'halo' mounted on his cockpit.
It was a carbon mock-up of the solution conceived by Mercedes and developed in conjunction with the FIA.
As well as Raikkonen's short run, conducted to get his feedback about visibility, the FIA has in recent months tested the 'halo' by firing tyres and debris at it under controlled conditions in England.
According to a Ferrari spokesman, Raikkonen said the visibility during his run on Thursday was "ok".
"We have tried to accelerate the project in the last 12 months with an aim to have something that we can practically apply on F1 cars for 2017," said FIA safety chief Laurent Mekies.
But the FIA has also left the door open to other potential solutions, despite declaring the 'halo' as the "preferred option" because it has been the most developed.
"Other options, such as transparent cockpit protection, will continue to be evaluated," said the governing body.
The leading transparent solution - more of a jet-fighter canopy with bulletproof glass than a 'halo' - has been devised by Red Bull, although images have not been released.
"We will try our solution in late April at a show-run (F1 car demonstration)," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Auto Motor und Sport.