Former FIA president Max Mosley has suggested that the idea of cockpit canopies should be looked into following the death of Dan Wheldon in the IndyCar Series finale – although such a move would require 'careful investigation'.
The FIA institute tested a jet-fighter canopy earlier in the year to see if it could stand up against debris travelling at high speed, which was the situation that led to Felipe Massa being injured in his accident in Hungary back in 2009 and also led to the death of Formula 2 racer Henry Surtees.
Introducing a cock-pit cover into open-wheel competition has again been mentioned in some quarters as a possible safety move after Wheldon's accident and Mosley said it was something which could work if it was done correctly.
"I think it could work," he told CNN
. "We get occasional incidents like the spring which hit Massa and the wheel which came off in Formula Two and killed John Surtees son Henry.
"You're always in danger, in an open cockpit, of objects striking the driver. It might also help, if it's reinforced with another roll bar, in things like the Dan Wheldon accident. But that's something that needs careful investigation."
One thing Mosley did admit was that the introduction of a canopy could cause other issues for a driver and could possibly increase speeds thanks to the possibility of an improvement in aerodynamics – which would need to be considered if such a system was introduced.
"One of the troubles is that it would probably make the car quicker, which is just what we don't want,” he said. “But there are other means of slowing them down.
"There are a lot of objections to canopies, how do you keep them clean? How do you get somebody out in an emergency? But all of that will be looked at by a technical working group if it turns out the thing would protect the driver better."