Vettel No Fan of new 'Shield' - 'Halo' Could Make a Comeback?

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
F1 Shield Test 2.jpg

Sebastian Vettel unhappy with new 'shield' concept following track test, possibility that FIA could reintroduced 'Halo' head protection for 2018.


With the 2017 British Grand Prix Free Practice One marking the first public track running for the 'shield' head protection on Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari car, the German four time World Champion admitted his discomfort with the new device, cutting running short to just one exploratory lap before abandoning the canopy style protector for the remainder of the session.

The 'Shield' has been under development as a direct response to complaints from drivers concerned about the reduced visibility offered by the solid structure of the 'Halo' concept. Providing a more visually appealing solution to fans as well as offering the best possible head protection for a driver should the cockpit area be fouled by debris out on track, the FIA have worked to produce a more elegant solution to the problem than has previous been seen within Formula One.

However following his single lap at Silverstone on Friday morning, Vettel remained wholly unconvinced that the new concept was a realistic option for Formula One going forward.

“Today I tried the Shield cockpit protection. The vision is not very good and I think it’s because of the curvature that creates a bit of distortion. We had a run plan but I didn’t like it too much. I couldn’t see much, but at the end it was fun to drive.”

When pushed further on the subject by Sky Sports F1, Vettel admitted the new protection at the front of his car made him feel "dizzy", casting some serious doubts as to the viability of the solution in time for the still planned 2018 mandatory inclusion date drawn up by the FIA.

"I got a bit dizzy," the championship leader told Sky Sports F1.

"Forward vision is not very good. I think it's because of the curvature, you get quite a bit of distortion, plus you get quite a bit of downwash down the straights pushing the helmet forwards. We had a run planned with it, but I didn't like it so we took it off."

He added: "I didn't like it, especially looking forwards."
It is thought that the FIA remain steadfast on their intentions to introduce some kind of cockpit head protection from 2018, and if the new 'shield' doesn't make the grade with drivers during the various tests scheduled for later this year, a return to the previously trialled 'Halo' concept isn't out of the question, despite the cockpit structure have been discarded initially on the grounds of aesthetical concerns as well as the visibility restriction caused by the support pillar directly in front of the drivers head.

The 'Shield' will continue to be developed heading into the summer break, with further on track running amongst different teams expected in the second half of the season.

F1 Shield Test 3.jpg
F1 Shield Test 4.jpg
F1 Shield Test 5.jpg
F1 Shield Test.jpg


Check the Formula One Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment for more news and discussion as it happens. Get yourself involved and don't forget to check out our British Grand Prix race thread, the place to go for all your British GP news!

Do you agree with the notion that F1 needs head protection? Is 2018 the right time frame in which to bring the technology to F1 race weekends? Do you prefer the shield over the previously tested halo concept? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
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Neilski

2000RPM
Staff
Premium
I always wondered how the visibility (incl. distortion and reflection) could ever be OK with a design like that, but I was forced to assume that they had ray-traced it (or just tested the damn thing in a lab) and decided it was fine. Guess not.

Edit:
question is whats more dangerous? debris or impeding the drivers vision?
Indeed. I think that a small impact on the vision of every driver, for every lap, will probably do far more damage than freak events like a flying wheel, and ultimately kill more drivers/fans.
 

Wedge

250RPM
that's a good point. may be Red Bull's aeroscreen concept had less curvature. shield was sexier tho.



another solution would be a more bubbled design for the screen, may be seek more inspiration on jet fighters canopy solutions not necessarily closing it entirely

like one comment above said, "anything but the halo".
 

T04STY

250RPM
I really think F1 drivers are pretty whiney about stuff like vision...around 90 percent of racecars have windows...i think this shield thing is pretty similar to lmp design and these drivers aren't moaning around even if they are driving straight into the sun with rubber and oil on screen.
 

Nick Gregory

Forever a backmarker
halo is another crap, why do they have to impose those shields? Thease experiments that are a disaster.
If some form of head protection is going to be mandated for 2018, then they gotta test them somehow.

I really think F1 drivers are pretty whiney about stuff like vision...around 90 percent of racecars have windows...i think this shield thing is pretty similar to lmp design and these drivers aren't moaning around even if they are driving straight into the sun with rubber and oil on screen.
The rake angle of the windshield is the main cause of vision problems. Also, if you're driving an F1 car, or any kind of racecar, it's a little bit dangerous can't see where they're going.
 

Emerson Meyer

Keep Fighting
I really think F1 drivers are pretty whiney about stuff like vision...around 90 percent of racecars have windows...i think this shield thing is pretty similar to lmp design and these drivers aren't moaning around even if they are driving straight into the sun with rubber and oil on screen.
Yes..F1 pilots know nothing about driving other cars...:cautious:
 

Wedge

250RPM
Look at lmp cars, they got pretty much the exact same curveture...has not much to do with that
no, mate, they don't. the LMP1 covers the entire cockpit, is much bigger (height) and "shorter" (length), and doesn't get much glare from the inside of the car.

this "shield" is even more curved than a F-16 bubble canopy.

the real problem is that it extends to the front of the car more than the red bull aeroscreen, may be for aerodynamics reasons.
 

James Cook

Marcas fan
Just acknowledge the risks and let the guys race as they are without a shield or halo. The sport is safer than it has ever been.
 
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