The racing world called for action last year after IndyCar driver Justin Wilson was killed by a piece of loose debris at Pocono Raceway. One of the proposed solutions to preventing a similar accident from happening in the future was to create a ‘halo’ device that would protect the driver from loose objects hitting them without hindering visibility too much, a prototype version of which was tested by Ferrari at Barcelona today.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonnen put the prototype ‘halo’ cockpit to the test during the seventh day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. The design, originally thought up by a Mercedes-Benz engineer, is the preferred solution among many to be implemented in the 2017 Formula 1 season, however Raikkonnen said the design needs some work before being used in an actual race.
“This morning I tried the Halo protection device and the difference to the usual driving was surprisingly small,” he said. “The visibility is just a little bit limited at the front but I don’t think this is the final version of the device, so it can be improved further.”
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, slammed the proposed concept and said he’d prefer if the cockpits were left as they were.
“It looks horrible,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor Und Sport. “You have to accept some risks. There needs to be an element of danger. ”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Nico Hulkenberg, on the other hand, loved the device, saying it’s a “massive,” safety improvement and that it “won’t look too bad eventually.”