FIA working very closely with IndyCar on windscreen

Published on 11 Feb 2018 11:36

The FIA is working very closely with IndyCar on a windscreen cockpit protection device. The American series tested the screen earlier this week, with positive results coming from the trial. It is believed that Formula 1's governing body is analysing the developments over a possible future feature on F1 cars.

IndyCar is looking to bring in cockpit protection for the 2019 season, while F1 will implement it this year. F1 will use the Halo which has seen major backlash from fans who have lashed out at its aesthetics. Formula E and Formula 2 will also run with the device.

FIA safety delegate Laurent Mekies said that all motorsport stakeholders work together when it comes to safety:  "Of course we have seen it," he said to RACER. "As far as safety is concerned we work closely with all other motorsport stakeholders. Four times a year during our research working group we meet with all the key players for safety research.

"So we meet with IndyCar, we meet with NASCAR, we meet with the guys in V8 Supercars in Australia, so we are completely aware of what each other are doing. They know exactly what we've done in the genesis of the Halo and we know that they have been pursuing to explore the route of a screen. 

"So the exchange does work, I think it's quite clear today what the advantages and the downsides are of the solutions. It's very good that IndyCar is putting some energy in trying to develop solutions and maybe it can complement the work we're doing one day. We'll catch up with them very, very soon actually – in a couple of weeks. It's a small community and we communicate on a regular basis."

Meikes was also asked if the FIA was interested in conducting its own research on the windscreen, to which he replied:  "As far as the research is concerned, we always try to share what we do. So typically we have referred to [IndyCar] to do impact testing on the solutions based on all the impact testing work that we have done.

"We have met with them and actually even with the company that has the screen thanks to them a few times. So it's completely going in both directions, so one could benefit from the other and vice versa."

But Meikes stated that the windscreen and the Halo will not necessarily offer the same type of protection due to both having differing designs:  "One of the key aspects is to pick a load case – what are you trying to protect against? There is no absolute truth with that; nobody is wrong and nobody is right.

"You choose what you try to protect against, and after that you have to accept if something more than that happens it won't help, or not as much as is needed. We'll catch up to see where the items they tried puts them in terms of protection level. You might remember that we had ourselves scanned different protection levels.

"The shield itself we tried at Silverstone last year had a slightly reduced protection level, so it's a matter of finding a good compromise. It's very good that such an important player as IndyCar is getting very involved in this, and as I said we are working very closely with them."

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