Ferrari trialled a working progress version of the new ‘Halo’ driver protection concept on Thursday and Friday this week.
The team first tried the concept on Kimi Raikkonen’s installation run, before giving it to Sebastien Vettel to run with on the Friday morning. The team also enlisted the help of Haas’ Romain Grosjean to follow Vettel around, as he checked to see how the rear-visibility was affected by the bars.
This version was also fully carbon fiber, whereas the actual version will be a mix of carbon fiber and steel beams. It also not the only concept that the FIA have been trialling recently however, with them looking at a centre-line roll hoop solution whereby three bars pass over the drivers head from the top of the chassis to the roll-hoop T-Cam.
The solution looks to flex upon impact, helping disperse some of the energy of the object before deflecting it away from the driver. Another solution called “additional frontal protection” is three fins (all of which vary in size and height) that poke up from the front of the cockpit. The idea is that they will also deflect debris before it hits the driver, without obstructing the drivers vision.
Red Bull have also reportedly got another solution in development without the centre pillar but rather with bars either side of the driver, again to stop it from obstructing the drivers vision. Until that is revealed, it looks like a refined version of the ‘Halo’ may well make it onto cars as early as 2017 if the FIA’s recent statement on the matter is to be read into.
Video of the test can be found on F1.com