May 1 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1 is pressing ahead with radical cockpit protection even though the sport’s chief executive is opposed.
“I don’t like it,” Bernie Ecclestone declared at Sochi on Sunday, after the Red Bull-championed ‘Aeroscreen’ had been debuted in practice.
When asked what F1 should do about further cockpit protection, he said without hesitation: “Nothing.”
However, the concept is now gaining momentum, amid reports the bulletproof windshield will be tested yet again in Barcelona and Monaco.
The alternative concept is the Mercedes and Ferrari-developed ‘Halo’, but Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda admitted on Sunday he is no fan of either.
“We need to be careful not to change the DNA of formula one,” the Austrian said on the grid. “Formula one today is safe.”
One way or another, the debate will end by July 1, with F1 race director Charlie Whiting saying teams need the deadline so as to design their 2017 cars.
As for the opposition to ending F1’s days as a properly open-cockpit formula, the FIA official suggested too much progress has now been made.
“Everyone is aware that we want to press ahead with this,” said Whiting. “We are not expecting any teams to object — we are not expecting to have to invoke the safety card.”