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Strategy Group agrees to cockpit protection from 2018, frees up radio rules

28 Jul 2016

The F1 Strategy Group has agreed unanimously to the introduction of frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars in 2018 in order to significantly enhance the safety of drivers.

According to a statement issued by the FIA, the decision not to introduce cockpit protection next year was taken in order to allow more time to evaluate all options, though the halo – which has been run in practice on several occasions – is ‘currently the preferred option’.

“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,” read an FIA statement, issued following Thursday’s meeting in Geneva.

“This will include undertaking multiple on-track tests of the ‘Halo’ system in practice sessions during the rest of this season and during the first part of the 2017 season.

“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.

“Halo remains a strong option for introduction in 2018.”

Radio communication

In addition to discussing cockpit protectiom, the Strategy Group agreed to loosen team radio restrictions from this weekend onwards by adopting a more liberal approach to the interpretation of the rule that drivers must drive the car ‘alone and unaided’.

With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board.

This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garage.