Formula One sets July deadline for cockpit device

Sun May 1, 2016 5:37am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Formula One will decide by July which head protection device it favors for 2017 with more testing likely at the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix, race director Charlie Whiting said on Sunday.

Red Bull tested an 'aeroscreen' fitted to the front of the cockpit in Friday practice at the Russian Grand Prix while Ferrari tried out a 'halo' device in pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Whiting told reporters in Sochi that it "would be unreasonable" to leave a decision any later than July 1 because teams needed to incorporate the new device into their 2017 designs.

New rules, aimed at making cars faster and more exciting with wider tires and revised aerodynamics, are being introduced for 2017.

"There are different load cases for each design because the halo has a central mounting and the 'aeroscreen' has two on the sides with nothing in the middle," Whiting said.

Whiting, who also oversees safety for the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA), said only one of the two concepts would be taken forward with a likely sole supplier. The FIA's F1 Commission will make the final decision.

Before then, further tests will be carried out to ensure there is no risk of the driver's head hitting the structure in an impact.

"What we are doing is some sledwork with a dummy to try to simulate more precisely just how much room you need in order to make sure that the driver's head doesn't make contact with it -- as they are both substantial structures," Whiting added.   Continued...

Formula One - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi, Russia - 30/4/16 - Mechanics of Red Bull F1 team push cars of Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Daniil Kvyat of Russia during the qualifying session. REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov