Motorsport governing body the FIA are planning to scrap the controversial 'Halo' head protection cage and introduce the new 'Shield' concept after agreeing the move during a recent Strategy Group meeting. Despite several teams and drivers having tried out the Halo concept during selected official practice sessions last season, the FIA together with the Formula One Commission and Strategy Group have voted in favour of dropping the solution altogether to be replaced by newly introduced 'Shield' safety concept. The "Shield" concept is thought to be a considerably more aesthetically pleasing alternative to the obtrusive and robust looking Halo bar, something that has previously caused concerns amongst fans, drivers and teams prior to the decision to delay it's introduction to the sport next season. At the recent Chinese Grand Prix the current field of Formula One team's were presented with an alternative concept from the FIA which would introduce a clear frontal protection visor directly in front of the drivers helmet, designed to offer vital head protection whilst causing minimal visual impact on the cars and still meeting the strict safety and extraction requirements of modern day Grand Prix racing. The 'Shield' solution has reportedly been received positively by the teams and a vote has been passed during the April 25th Commission and Strategy Group meeting to implement the 'Shield' "family of systems". “A number of more integrated solutions for additional frontal protection have been studied, and the decision has been taken to give priority to the transparent ‘Shield’ family of systems" A statement from the FIA read. “The FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during this season in preparation for implementation in 2018.” Despite the relatively late introduction of this concept in comparison to the extended discussions around the previous Halo design, the FIA intend to retain the 2018 season deadline for introduction of the product. As was the case during 2016 several teams and drivers will be given the opportunity to sample the 'Shield' in practice sessions during the course of current season. How the head protection devices will look once introduced next year have yet to be fully revealed, however the FIA statement did elude to more that one product within the range being available. This could simply mean that development is ongoing and a final design has yet to be agreed, or it could offer the possibility of multiple versions of the product being made available for the teams to select ahead of the season depending on each individual cars unique design characteristics. Regardless of how the final design and implementation will turn out I'm sure many fans of the sport will be relieved to see a more elegant compromise has been found to the desire of offering heighted head protection to Formula One drivers, as let's face it.. that Halo device was just plain ugly.... For more of the latest Formula One news and discussion here at RaceDepartment head over to the dedicated Formula One sub forum and join in the conversation with your fellow racing fans. Be part of the action and get involved today! Do you like the sound of the 'Shield' concept in Formula One? Do you think head protection such as the Halo and Shield are even necessary in Grand Prix racing? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below!