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Featured F1: Drivers Pushing for Greater Head Protection for 2017 Onwards

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Chris Stacey, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. Chris Stacey

    Chris Stacey
    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Premium Member

    f1-fia-to-carry-out-closed-cockpit-tests-2015-fia-to-carry-out-closed-cockpit-tests.jpg Fresh calls for increased driver cockpit safety have been made in recent days and this time it's coming directly from the drivers represented in the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA).

    Alex Wurz, the chairman of said association, has revealed that drivers in the GPDA have unanimously agreed upon the introduction of increased head protection in Formula One cars no later than the start of the 2017 Formula One season.

    The issue has become a hotbed for debate in the last year or so with the tragic deaths of Jules Bianchi in Formula One and Justin Wilson in IndyCar, with the primary force behind opposing new regulations on cockpit safety boiling down to maintaining the heritage and history of Formula One by remaining as an open cockpit series. However, support for the change to closed-cockpits has been growing exponentially, so much so that it's now a question of "when", not "if".

    According to Wurz the drivers are in favour of Mercedes' proposed 'halo' design (as seen above). Said Wurz,

    "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. Obviously structural changes are required to the chassis but, with almost a one-year lead time, I don't see any technical person speaking against such substantial safety improvements, especially given the last big accidents in open-wheel racing involved head injuries.

    So all the drivers, and I, hope that passing the additional head protection will be a formality."

    f1-fia-to-carry-out-closed-cockpit-tests-2015-fia-to-carry-out-closed-cockpit-tests (1).jpg

    Last September we ran a poll asking if you supported the switch to closed-cockpits after McLaren-Honda driver, Jenson Button, stated that he had gone 180 degrees in his opinion on the issue and now fully supports the need for greater cockpit safety. The poll received just over 200 votes and resulted in a somewhat surprisingly close result with just over 57% of people voting in favour of closed-cockpits.

    Clearly there is some argument for the retention of Formula One's history by keeping it a truly open-cockpit category, however when lives are at risk, you must do everything reasonably possible to reduce the risks of having accidents such as Jules's and Justin's, which were both regarded as "once in a thousand years" accidents.

    Over to you!
    How do you feel about the 2017 cars taking on a much higher level of driver head safety?
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Nothing to say against that except "please not that merc solution :confused:"

    • Agree Agree x 13
    • Haha Haha x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Turk

    Premium Member

    Just put a canopy on the car for gods sake. That solution is the worst of both worlds. I think F1 seriously has to consider copying LMP cars.

    With a fully closed cockpit they could go to open faced helmets to. I'd actually like to see what kind of faces F1 drivers pull while racing.
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  4. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
    Premium Member

    Are you in favour of greater head protection in F1?
    Yes please, but this solution is ugly as hell. I wonder if it distracts the driver?
    What about something like a windshield which is 20-30cm high and goes completely around the cockpit which is open above the head?
    • Like Like x 2
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  5. If your not in favour of this I don't know where your head is at. The essence of F1 is NOT OPEN COCKPIT. What differentiates it from almost every other land vehicle is the fact that they are open wheel. No-one wants to see what happened to Justin Wilson happen in F1.
    • Agree Agree x 10
  6. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Adrian Newey must be delighted to have an extra opportunity to add even more downforce to his cars.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  7. Sun Levi

    Sun Levi
    Premium Member

    Where they got the idea from:
    Jokes aside I am in favour for greater protection, if the drivers wants it. Personally I don't really care about how it looks.
    • Haha Haha x 28
    • Winner Winner x 8
    • Like Like x 4
  8. mister dog

    mister dog
    Premium Member

    Yes, why not make F1 cars look even more ridiculous :thumbsup:
    That will surely excite the fans.

    I would be in favor of a streamlined F16 style window, but that solution above looks like :poop:
    Look how pretty this looks in comparison:

    • Like Like x 19
    • Agree Agree x 9
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  9. How is that Mercedes solution practical? The support is right in the center of your sight. Wouldn't that make it very annoying?
    • Agree Agree x 5
  10. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    I don't mind F1 cars with canopies, there is some great concept artwork with stylish solutions (see above).

    The point that was raised was getting to the driver if he was trapped so why not implement a canopy that stops at about two thirds back from steering wheel rather than all the way across?

    The accidents seem to be whereby the object has hit the top half of the helmet from a head on collision rather than the side (although correct me if I'm wrong).

    So if the "canopy" was large enough to shield the helmet area and then far enough back to protect the head area, would that be good enough?

    It would probably upset the aero, but just playing with ideas really.

    The image above is great (and I've seen it before) but the canopy would need to be half that width to be current?

    EDIT: Thinking about it the Red Bull Gran Turismo Cars have what I think is a cool canopy solution.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  11. With that kind of aero it will take off the track soon.

    Ever since F1 abandoned the Ring, one can't help but think it might be the time for it to just disband for good already. Why prolong the agony?
  12. Shark fin on that splitter! Calling it right now :D
    • Haha Haha x 2
  13. What "Ring"?
  14. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    @mister dog that design looks absolutely stunning!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. The amount of times an F1 car ends up on top of another is quite scary, we're really lucky that so few injuries or deaths have occurred in recent years. I'm all for a solution that aids safety. I do consider it a shame in some ways, but I'd rather the drivers were at less risk. We've come a long way in F1 but there are still improvements to be made yet.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

    In favour, yes, but dear god, not that solution!
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Haha Haha x 1
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  17. The Nordschleife track.
  18. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    I used to be against this, in a way I still am partly, but one cannot account for the anomalies that happen like debris coming off a car and hitting a trailing driver in the head. Even if the lead up to that event is a string of events that may not have been properly tested (ie. new parts, unusual forces stressing car parts etc.) you need protection against it, simple.

    BUT, I stressed this last time too, drivers today are pervasively taking unwarranted risks, with little reward and huge risks, and have a general disregard for track boundaries, rules and gentlemanly racing. This was hugely apparent in this years F1 racing, where track limits (white lines) were simply decorations, and unfortunately flags and track/weather conditions are not adhered to by drivers and race directors. J. Bianchi would have been racing today if he, race organizers, F1 safety committee would have better evaluated the risks with the evolving of F1 as a sport. Yellow flags in heavy rain/dangerous track conditions should be obeyed with a reduced speed. Have professionals working as track martials, trained highly effective individuals with a series of skills that enable them to answer acutely to any immediate accident. A multi billion dollar sport cannot affort to have people not adequate to operate in these extreme conditions. I, as a fellow racer, would be angry and frustrated as to why JB is not here today.

    Like Schumacher said, these things happen so that we learn from them, they cannot pass without lessons being learned. I would urge drivers and the governing body of F1 to look at the problem as a whole, a canopy or halo will not stop your head being in danger when hitting a 4-6ton excavator at 120mph.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  19. Turk

    Premium Member

    How do they get drivers out of LMP cars when they crash? Or even GT cars? I'm sure F1 engineers could come up with a fairly redundant system for removing the canopy when needed.

    The fact would remain that the canopy probably wouldn't have save Jules, there's probably no way to engineer for that kind of accident. It would stop debris from hitting the driver and would protect the driver from being mounted by another car or being flipped over. The canopy should reduce drag and make them go slightly faster.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. In 2018, the FIA will be pushing for booster seats and speed limiters set by the drivers' parents.
    • Haha Haha x 7
    • Like Like x 1