Two Formula 1 technical figures are unsure that the 'Shield' frontal cockpit protection system for cars will be ready in time for the 2018 season, with "a lot of question marks" still remaining.

Following the death of Jules Bianchi from head injuries sustained in an accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA has since pushed to improve cockpit safety in F1, with a number of options for protection being explored.

The 'Halo' was first tested in 2016 through pre-season testing and originally planned to be fitted to cars for 2017, only for the F1 Strategy Group to delay its introduction by a year.

Concerns over Halo's suitability and aesthetics led to plans being scrapped earlier this year, with a new 'Shield' design being put forward and favoured for implementation next season, subject to testing.

On-track running with the Shield is set to take place later in the summer, but there are already concerns about whether it will be on cars for 2018.

"There has been a meeting a couple of weeks ago, the first meeting for the installation of the Shield," Force India technical director Andrew Green said. "We weren't part of that meeting but there is another meeting tomorrow that we are having with the FIA to discuss it further.

"We've seen some preliminary models. We've been looking at how we integrate those into the chassis next year. There are a lot, a lot of question marks over it. There's a lot of work to do in the timeframe that we have been given.

"So we need to make some smart decisions going forward. Hopefully we'll be discussing that tomorrow, with a view to how we answer all those questions in the time period we've got."

"We are going to very, very tight to get this on to a car for '18," added Red Bull's Paul Monaghan. "I think the research into its functionality and protection, it's got to happen almost in parallel with the installation, which makes it quite a tricky job.

"Because whatever they change in terms of screen then has an implication to a chassis and if you have cut your patterns then you are in a fairly awkward situations. I think if it all happens in parallel then the cut-offs are going to be somewhat team dependent.

"As Andy said, there is a hell of a lot to get through to ensure that this is a thoroughly developed and sorted package to put on next year's car."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...