Apr.28 (GMM) Red Bull will debut its windshield-style head protection concept on Friday morning at Sochi.
The cockpit-mounted solution, resembling an oversized helmet visor, is already fitted to Daniel Ricciardo’s car at the scene of the Russian grand prix.
“I am sure it will get a lot of time on television in those couple of minutes!” grinned Australian Ricciardo on Thursday.
It is now a contender, along with the previously-trialled ‘halo’ system, to make its mandatory debut on the cars for 2017.
The issue of obscuring or partially covering F1’s traditional open cockpits, however, remains controversial.
One of the most outspoken critics has been Nico Hulkenberg, who when asked about the Red Bull concept called ‘Aeroscreen’ said on Thursday: “I’ve seen some pictures on the internet and find it more elegant than halo.
“What is clear to me is that it is inevitable that some sort of head protection is coming. If I had a choice, I would prefer the Red Bull solution,” said the German.
The disadvantage of the ‘Aeroscreen’, however, is that unlike the halo a driver’s visibility may be compromised in the event of rain or oil debris.
“Rain is not a problem,” said Hulkenberg. “The speed of the car means the water runs off. Oil is a different matter.
“With our helmets we have tear-offs that we can pull off, so maybe we can have a solution like that although you would probably need a pitstop.”
Finally, amid the poisonous political climate in F1 at present, Hulkenberg was asked about Bernie Ecclestone’s desire to become the sport’s “dictator” one again.
“He’s right,” said the Force India driver. “We have too many cooks stirring the porridge.”