There won't be any cockpit protection at next year's Formula 1 season just yet after the Strategy Group unanimously agreed to delay its implementation until 2018. In a statement issued by the Federation Internationale d'el Automobile (FIA), the Strategy Group cited that it would be best to allow the teams to further test and evaluate the new cockpit protection system.
“It was decided that owing to the relatively short timeframe until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation,” added the FIA.
As for what kind of cockpit protection would be used in the long run, both the FIA and Strategy Group said that the Halo-bar is still the preferred choice in shielding drivers from debris. With it, the FIA will undertake multiple on-track tests of the Halo system in practice sessions during the rest of this season. Moreover, the FIA will also conduct a series of tests during the first part of the 2017 season.
The Strategy Group did stress however that they are still open to other options beside Halo bar for its implementation of cockpit protection in 2018.
“While the Halo is currently the preferred option, as it provides the broadest solution to date, the consensus among the Strategy Group was that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution,” said the FIA.
Originally, the FIA stated that the halo bar protection system should become standard on all Formula 1 race cars by 2017. The implementation of cockpit protection comes after the deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson who both died from fatal head injuries.