Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat recently commented on the team’s alternate solution to Ferrari’s ‘Halo’ Formula 1 cockpit protection system, saying they prefer the more traditional windshield-type protector to the halo.
Red Bull’s cockpit safety solution uses vertical support pillars and a glass screen to protect the driver against flying debris, whereas Ferrari’s used a strong ‘halo’ structure to get the job done. The Red Bull system is better for visibility and offers a greater surface area for protection, however it would become hard to clean if the glass were to become dirty.
“I think it looks quite good,” Kvyat said of the Red Bull design. “I think it’s better than the Halo. The only question mark obviously that we have around it is the glass.”I personally wouldn’t be comfortable if it suddenly starts to get dirty or the car in front of you is losing oil, with stuff like that it could become a bit messy.
“I think it’s a good direction,” he added. “Let’s see what the fans think about that first of all, I think it’s quite important what they think.”
Ricciardo also said he preferred the Red Bull solution in design, however he admitted that it’s hard to know without driving both.
“In terms of function, I think the Red Bull one is good. I didn’t drive the Ferrari one, but I think the Red Bull one probably seemed to cover a few more bases.”
Formula 1 began toying with the idea of a protection system for their open cockpit cars after IndyCar’s Justin Wilson was killed by a nosecone piece during a race at Pocono last year. While some drivers acknowledge the benefit a ‘Halo’ or similar design offers, others believe it will slow the driver’s exit from the vehicle in the event of the crash and create a new problem entirely.