Sebastian Vettel suffers dizziness in first trial of new F1 Shield
Ferrari driver says problems with vision behind proposed Shield
By James Galloway and Jonathan Green at Silverstone
Last Updated: 03/08/17 9:06pm
Sebastian Vettel cut short the first-ever trial of F1's new Shield head protection concept after the cockpit screen made him feel "dizzy".
As the sport continues to evaluate what system to introduce onto cars in 2018, Ferrari became the first team to trial The Shield at the start of Friday's opening practice session at Silverstone.
However, Vettel returned to the pits after just one lap with it attached to the front of the cockpit after encountering visibility problems.
"I got a bit dizzy," the championship leader told Sky Sports F1.
"Forward vision is not very good. 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 straights pushing the helmet forwards. We had a run planned with it, but I didn't like it so we took it off."
He added: "I didn't like it, especially looking forwards."
Vettel said climbing in and out of the car was also more difficult, although reckoned it was "probably more about getting used to it".
The FIA, F1's governing body, has committed to introducing some form of cockpit protection to lessen the chance of head injuries from next season, but Vettel's comments suggest it still has plenty of work to do to refine the Shield concept before it can be raced.
A more extensive test is expected at September's Italian GP, but by then 2018 car design concepts will have advanced a long way.
The Shield is described as a "transparent open canopy system constructed using polycarbonate" aimed at "providing significant protection from debris, while ensuring unrestricted forward vision for the driver".
Previous trials of other possible head protection systems, The Halo and the Aeroscreen, have split opinion, largely for aesthetic reasons, but Williams' technical chief Paddy Lowe is optimistic the Shield has potential.
"It's agreed to put it [cockpit protection] on the car for next year. It is a really accelerated programme as the decision was taken a couple of months ago," Lowe told Sky F1 after Practice One.
"We're very interested to hear the feedback from Sebastian, especially on visibility. I thought it looked pretty good.
"We're worried about reflections but there may be solutions to that. We will be testing it on various cars over the coming months."
Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.