Red Bull canopy, 2016

Red Bull reveals its canopy alternative to Halo

2016 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Red Bull’s design is an alternative to the Halo
Red Bull has revealed images of its alternative to the Halo head protection device which Formula One intends to introduce next year.

The canopy structure includes two struts placed in front of the driver and screens to offer further protection from debris.

Ferrari ran a version of the Halo device on one of its cars in Spain earlier this month. The system has already been tested by the FIA by firing projectiles including a wheel at it to simulate the forces it could be subjected to in a race situation.

FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting said this weekend Red Bull’s proposal has not undergone as much testing as the Halo has so far. The FIA has also stated it intends to introduced a form of enhanced driver head protection along these lines for 2017 at the request of drivers.

However some drivers including Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg have expressed doubts about the Halo device.

This article will be updated.

Red Bull canopy

2016 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “Red Bull reveals its canopy alternative to Halo”

    1. I wonder how anyone is going to see their mirrors with that setup. Well and quite a few other issues with a windshield solution really.

      But hey, let them test it etc, and maybe it can be an upgrade for safety to replace the Halo in a year or 2-3 if testing it proves it as a viable alternative.

      1. off coure it does make for a great improvement of aero compared to today’s cars.

      2. christopheraser
        19th March 2016, 7:23

        With this setup you could probably position screens that are connected to a couple of rearward pointing cameras, within the confines of the structure.

      3. Through the screen I would imagine. As long as the canopy doesn’t get dirty or warp the view I don’t understand where the issue would be.

      4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        19th March 2016, 15:46

        It looks like you can see the mirrors okay in the third image, perhaps they could go on to remove the side panes, for an unimpeded view to the mirrors

      5. @bascb It’ll probably be similar to a triple screen sim-setup in the end.

    2. It will definitely look weird; there is no denying it. I think keep F1 as it is, and just try to work on bettering the helmet like they have in the last 60 years because this might just be another F1 idea which loses it viewers.

      1. RaceProUK (@)
        19th March 2016, 14:01

        You can improve helmet design as much as you like, but it’ll never work as well as simply not having things hit the driver’s head

    3. Conspicuously absent from Red Bull is any indication whether this has been tested and works. Without which this is a nice drawing but not yet a solution.

      1. From what Whiting mentions it has NOT been tested at all @keithcollantine. So yeah, nice drawing not unlike the rather elegant first images they showed us of the Halo idea.

        1. That is a canopy from an airplane. Nothing to do with the redbull concept.

      2. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. I fail to see how it’s different from the halo except for the fact that it has two front supports and a windscreen. If anything, it should be safer since the screen protects from smaller flying objects

        Looks a lot like this to be honest

    4. I wonder what solutions they have regarding heat within the drivers compartment. Places such as Malaysia, China, Abu Dhabi and the likes are places where drivers complain about high temperatures and humidity. With this design, the air will be channeled around, over and away from the driver’s compartment and this might lead to greater discomfort.
      But I think it provides greater protection than the one from Merc. We shall know more when tested.

      1. To the Max !
        19th March 2016, 8:23

        You can get air in the cockpit like they do with the S-duct.

      2. I’ve heard Martin Brundle say several times that a surprisingly small amount of air actually gets to the driver with an open cockpit. As soon as the car hits the air it is designed to channel airflow around the cockpit so having a canopy won’t really make a difference.

    5. Honestly, this was the same image on a safety device that came to my mind when they were starting to talk about the Halo. Was thinking a half windshield to deflect anything coming head on should give them good visibility and ample protection.

      I know it’s safety over aesthetics, but I like this solution for an aesthetics point of view. At least more than the Halo

      1. Agreed. I always thought this solution would be best as it stops small objects hitting the drivers heads and it looks good, if they can make it work use it.

      2. RaceProUK (@)
        19th March 2016, 22:37

        I don’t mind the halo, but I do agree that this solution is potentially superior as well as being more visually pleasing.

    6. Of course it’s a much prettier view than Ferrari’s halo. But the implications of using it are much greater than the halo. How about visibilty with rain and oil, how about temperature management inside the cockpit and how about aerodynamics? This concept requires a new approach in developing the car, where the halo is basically a ‘bolt it on and go’-principle.

      1. morningview66
        19th March 2016, 7:36

        well if they can figure it out in sportscar and any other car with a screen for that matter, then they can surely make it work.

        1. RaceProUK (@)
          19th March 2016, 22:38

          Sportscars have much larger and flatter screens; even LMP screens aren’t so dramatically curved as this concept. But that is an element of the design that can be tweaked, so I’m not going to pass judgement yet.

          1. True in 2016 spec LMP cars but have a look at the older Group C cars and their screens had a lot of rake (try Peugeot 905 or Jaguar XJR-14). I’m thinking the car would look better with this concept closed like an LMP. Safer too.

            At the end of the day, just like the farce of quali, these are half baked solutions being offered when clear answers exist. Why F1continues to skirt around issues with fiddle gimmicky fixes when answers are everywhere is beyond me.

            Want a better looking safer cockpit? Go closed. Want more exciting races? Fix the dependence on aero, increase mechanical grip, get Bridgestone back to make proper F1 tyres or get Michelin to make them. Done and move on. Enough of these half measures!

            1. RaceProUK (@)
              20th March 2016, 0:57

              The rake isn’t the issue, it’s the curvature; designing a wiper blade to handle the curvature of an LMP screen or Group C screen isn’t too difficult, but for the much greater curvature evident in Red Bull’s design, it’s a lot harder.

    7. Now just imagine the current Halo system but with the RedBull frame, i.e. without the windshield, and you already have a much sexier version of the protection device without the added issues of rain/oil/temperature.

    8. This will be my last comment on this for the year, it’s pointless debating it and I’m sure there’ll be dozens of posts with people going back and forth on it in the comments as there already has been this year.

      Whatever they choose to implement; I’m sure will be for the good of F1 and open wheel motor-racing in general, and any aesthetic implications we’ll get used to in time, or will be correct like the dong nose…

      1. corrected*

    9. They had those in 1985 didn’t they?

      Mercedes could make their cars spray oil from the exhausts over the cars behind (controlled by the race engineers using the “oil transfer” instruction)

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