Red Bull plan to give their proposed cockpit protection system its first public outing on Friday when they fit the canopy to one of their cars in opening practice for the 2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. The intention is to complete an installation lap in order to get driver feedback on the concept, which has already been given the thumbs-up from Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat after they trialled it on the team’s simulator. With Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, planning to implement some form of standardised cockpit protection from 2017, Red Bull’s canopy is being considered as a potential alternative to Mercedes’ ‘halo’ concept.
A mock-up of the halo appeared on Ferrari’s cars earlier this year in pre-season testing, prompting mixed reactions from the paddock, with opinion particularly divided over the system’s aesthetics. Unlike the halo, Red Bull’s canopy does not have a central pillar in front of the driver. However, there is the question of how rain or oil on the screen could affect visibility.