Given the fact that FIA is looking to introduce a cockpit safety device for the 2018 Formula One season, it seemed that the controversial Halo device was all set to get the nod. However, in an eleventh hour move, the Halo was rejected by the FIA in favour of the Shield. While the Shield has not made a public appearance up to date, first impressions suggest it bears an uncanny resemblance to Red Bull’s alternative, the Aeroscreen, which at that time was rejected due to lack of testing data.
Leading German automobile magazine Auto Motor und Sport now informs that Scuderia Ferrari will have the opportunity to test the device next month when the Maranello outfit will be the first Formula 1 team to try the Shield, most likely during the first run in free practice at Silverstone, with the remaining teams trialling the device at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Since the Strategy Group made the decision to sustain the Shield, a number of teams have expressed concern that the delay in testing the device and accumulating data could be compromising work on their 2018 F1 cars: “We have seen some preliminary models. We have been looking at how we integrate those into the chassis next year and 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.” – Force India technical director Andy Green said, as reported by the British media.
“With regard to a deadline, usually we would be the end of July, beginning of August, define the monocoque. The fundamental question here is about the integration of the shield and the attachment, so there is a question about structural integrity, we need those detailed informations of course.” – Sauber technical director Jorg Zander added.
“We are going to very, very tight to get this on to a car for ’18” – admits Red Bull Racing’ Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan – “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.”