Formula One Cockpit Protecting 'Shield' Breaks Cover at Silverstone

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Lewis Hamilton of Britain waving to fans at the end of a qualifying session.- AP

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Lewis Hamilton of Britain waving to fans at the end of a qualifying session.- AP

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel showcases the new protective shield in Practice 1 of the British GP.

It has been developed by Italian company Isoclima and has been tested by Sebastian Vettel on his Ferrari at Silverstone during a practice this morning.

Development work is still ongoing on the concept which, we'll agree, looks a lot better than its Halo and Aeroscreen predecessors which were trialed last year.

"I think it's because of the curvature, you get quite a bit of distortion, plus you get quite a bit of downwash down the straight pushing the helmet forward".

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"We had a run plan with it but I didnt like it so we took it off".

He added: "I didn't like it, especially looking forwards".

"I have seen it on the computer, [but] I haven't seen it in real life, I'll check it out later on".

The FIA hopes a final version of the Shield can be ready to be introduced in time for 2018, but if not, the Halo will be introduced instead.

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Grosjean became a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association earlier this season after replacing Jenson Button, and the Frenchman has revealed that the group no longer discuss cockpit protection, but admits there is a split of opinion about whether it is needed or not.

The popularity and reputation of the championship-leading Vettel, of Ferrari, has been severely tarnished in recent weeks while Hamilton has suffered a sequence of misfortunes to slip 20 points adrift.

"It's agreed to put it [cockpit protection] on the car for next year".

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