SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Ferrari will trial a new transparent frontal protection cockpit ‘shield’ in British Grand Prix practice at Silverstone next week, Formula One’s governing body said on Saturday.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said the aim was to carry out a first full track test at Italy’s Monza circuit in September.
Silverstone will allow drivers to give initial feedback early in the development process, however.
The shield is an open canopy in front of the driver and made from polycarbonate, a tough but see-through thermoplastic polymer.
The aim is to protect the driver’s head from flying debris without obstructing his vision.
The FIA has been focussing on that concept rather than a previously tested ‘halo’ cockpit protection system that was extensively tested last season to a mixed response from teams and drivers.
Cockpit protection is seen as a key area following fatalities in other series where drivers were hit by wheels and flying debris.
While the FIA said in January that the safety benefit of the halo had been established, some leading F1 figures were wary about dramatic changes to the look of the cars.
“A possible geometry has been developed and the FIA is currently working with teams in Formula One on further defining its geometry,” the FIA said, with an image of the shield published on its website.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Jon Boyle