Red Bull Develops Canopy F1 Cockpit

Posted by: Lydia Siu onFebruary 22nd, 2016


This is the first time in the history of Formula One where the topic of closing the cockpit has not only been a major topic of discussion, but really become a quick reality moving towards production. Formula One racing, with its roots from European Grand Prix racing dating back to the 1920’s, have always used vehicles that have an open top which exposes the driver’s head to the elements. With safety standards and regulations become top priority in any racing series especially in Formula One, technology and development are always being pushed further and further to improve the safety and health of their drivers.

With the most recent Formula One racing death of driver Jules Bianchi who crashed his car into the back of a recovery vehicle which was offtrack removing another wrecked vehicle, driver head protection again is targeted for improvement. Bianchi’s death is the first Formula One driver to be killed as a result of an accident during a racing event since Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) currently has a preferred canopy design in mind which has been called the Halo F1 cockpit. With testing and development in full force, Red Bull Racing has put their design into the mix as a potential alternative to the current preferred design. has submitted a design study for a canopy alternative to the Halo F1 cockpit protection option currently preferred by the FIA. Red Bull’s design, similar to designs recently submitted by Mercedes, utilizes a combination of glass material and carbon.

Designs for production are not yet confirmed, but the FIA prefers the Halo as a result of the immense amount of time put into testing that has already been completed which will help to make a faster transition into production. However, when Christian Horner, top dog at Red Bull, was asked if their design can be ready for the 2017 racing season, he simply said, “Why not?”

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