Feb.24 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Reigning champions Mercedes have proposed a new solution to the ever-present problem of cockpit safety in formula one.

Canopies and roll-cages have been discussed at length behind closed doors since the fatal accident of F2 racer Henry Surtees, and the serious injuries sustained by Felipe Massa when he was a Ferrari driver in 2009.

The issue then returned to the top of the agenda late last year, when the now stricken Jules Bianchi’s helmeted head hit the underside of a trackside vehicle during the Japanese grand prix.

According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, Mercedes presented a proposed solution to the problem of F1’s open cockpits to the latest meeting of the Technical Working Group.

It is a sort of oval-shaped ‘halo’, encircling the driver’s head and attached to the front of the monocoque just ahead of the steering wheel and dash.

“Less respectful voices are calling it a toilet seat,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt.

Auto Motor und Sport’s estimation of what the safety ‘halo’ might look like can be seen at: http://img3.auto-motor-und-sport.de/Mercedes-Cockpitschutz-fotoshowImage-b5b58990-845808.jpg