The Verizon IndyCar Series and Formula One authorities need to come together and set up a joint task force in a bid to find a common solution to the idea of having canopies on cockpits as a way of protecting drivers.
Formula One and IndyCar are the leading open wheel racing categories in the world and have suffered fatalities in the last year with the tragic deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson. The FIA have confirmed that they will present their findings with regard to Formula One cockpit protection at a meeting with Formula One technical directors on Friday.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team have come up with a halo style design which has been seen by Paddock Eye and which raises serious safety concerns of its own due to the fact it would seriously reduce visibility particularly in wet conditions.
The new design would also cause issues if there were to be a cockpit fire as the driver needs to be able to exit the cockpit quickly.
The Verizon IndyCar Series Director of Competition Jay Frye has said that the series are monitoring the situation in Formula One and would be open to collaborating with Formula One and other open wheel categories to come up with a way of increasing cockpit safety. Speaking to RACER, Frye stated:
We would certainly like to see, and have an in-depth and great understanding of what they did and why, and use that as part of our database to figure out what we need to do or not, going forward, There are things they do that can apply to what we do and vice versa. You have to be smart and you just pay attention to what everybody’s doing.
Fyre believes however that in the case of IndyCar, the sport should incorporate increased safety or a new cockpit design into the next Verizon IndyCar Series chassis.
Right now, a lot of what is being worked on is how we can do it to the existing car, We’re looking at scenarios, and that is one of them. If we went that way, what are our options, what are the costs, who are the manufacturers? And then the other one would be if we did do something with a different car or newer car, what would the process be the same? You obviously could do different things to it at that point because you could design around it from scratch.
Fyre confirmed that IndyCar are currently talking to the NHRA to discover how that series made their canopies on their Top Fuel cars work.
Formula One drivers have spoken out saying that they would like to see improved cockpit safety in 2017 when Formula One plans new technical regulations with cockpit safety being part of the new regulations package.