Kimi Raikkonen became the first driver to test the new halo closed cockpit concept during Formula 1 testing at Barcelona in Spain on Thursday.

By: Jonathan Noble, Formula 1 Editor

Kimi Raikkonen became the first driver to test the new halo closed cockpit concept during Formula 1 testing at Barcelona in Spain on Thursday.

The installation was fitted to his car for an installation lap in the morning and comes as the FIA works on introducing the design into F1 for 2017.

Painted in black, the frame protected the head and featured a single column down the centre - which has been the solution that teams and the governing body have favoured.

Testing plan

The FIA has been testing many different closed cockpit solutions over the years, but many design ideas have not come up to standard.

A fully closed jet-fighter style canopy not only hindered driver extraction but also had the effect of throwing any debris that collided with it high into the air.

The Halo idea has gathered support over the past 18 months though, and GPDA chairman Alex Wurz said it was a no-brainer that this idea came in as soon as possible.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting told teams earlier this year that the FIA was set on making sure it happened for 2017.

Wurz told Motorsport.com: "Maybe in the far future we will move to jet fighter cockpits with the closed canopy, but that is too heavy at the moment, it's too expensive, it would need a longer time to look at this solution.

"Maybe that will happen because it has a few other interesting aspects. But the experts and drivers agree that the Halo should come in, and we hope it's just a formality on Friday that the technical directors agree.

"They will have lots of things to discuss, and one of them will be the frontal head impact protection. But they should be well aware of the research.

"It's on the grounds of safety, and in theory, the FIA could decide it by themselves, but it requires a structural change to the chassis, and it's obviously in the nature of everyone involved to work together."

 

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