FIA president Jean Todt will only review a final proposal with regard to cockpit safety in Formula 1 once he is certain there will be no additional consequences. Towards the end of October the FIA revealed it was evaluating three cockpit protection solutions, each of which would be put through its paces in November. That evaluation process remains ongoing as the FIA is determined to ensure whatever the final design it opts for not only meets with universal approval, but also all safety requirements. There have been concerns structures designed to protect F1 cockpits could hamper driver visibility or hamper exits from the car after accidents.
“We have put in a lot of effort, but motorsport remains a dangerous sport,” Todt told Autosport. “If there are further steps that need to be taken to improve safety then we will go for it, but we have to make sure there are not [other] consequences. When you implement a new regulation you must ensure you have vision in case of any issues. We are in the hands of the experts, and we will have one outcome which will allow us to judge if it’s worth making a change, making modifications or we keep the status quo. There are different ways of protecting a driver, but we must ensure there are no negative effects. That is in the hands of expert people. We have a specific department, people I trust completely, and I will see what are the outcomes when we have a final proposal.”
The FIA has spent a lot of time and resources in recent years investigating a variety of ‘closed-cockpit’ methods, in particular following the accidents that cost Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson their lives. One alternative method that has been mentioned of late is stronger wheel tethers to limit parts flying from cars in accidents. Though the tethers have proven invaluable since their introduction in the late 1990s, some believe they could be improved. Todt added: “What we want to achieve is an improvement on safety. I have raised a problem, so now it is up to people to propose solutions.”