F1 Racing

Red Bull canopy design ready for next year?

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Red Bull

In an earlier report, Red Bull has announced that it could trial its proposed canopy design at the upcoming Russian Grand Prix. And today, something big is coming for Red Bull, it’s now getting big help from FIA.

Things are getting great for the Milton Keynes-based F1 team. FIA racing chief Charlie Whiting has just announced Red Bull’s proposed canopy could now be ready to race as early as 2017, providing that the proposed design shows well in impact testing taking place later this week.

Red Bull has run a parallel design project, which has been previously touted as a possible long-term replacement for the Halo cockpit protection system being developed by Mercedes and Ferrari that was previously viewed as the only realistic F1 protection system for next year.

However, Red Bull has managed to take its design to a serious level and fast-tracked its canopy development to the point where it has now become a viable alternative for next season.

The prototype will be tested by the FIA on Friday and, if it shows great things on the track, its introduction for next season will be placed on the agenda for discussions at the next meeting of the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission on April 26.

Unlike Ferrari’s Halo cockpit protection system, Red Bull’s proposed canopy design is based more around a larger open-topped acrylic shield surrounding the driver, and it does not feature the central pillar in front of the F1 driver. Instead, the Red Bull’s design feature a two smaller columns on either side of the cockpit front and the side pillars at the front are designed to line up with mirror mounting stalks. The design also does not have the forward vision issue associated with the Halo cockpit protection system.

The acrylic material used in the Red Bull’s design is said to be similar that used in the canopy of the record-breaking Bloodhound land speed record car. Red Bull hopes to run its design, which reports said is similar to the style of the batmobile, as early as next month.

FIA racing chief Whiting said in a statement, via the Motorsport.com. “I think it’s fair to say that when it was initially presented it was in its infancy.

“However, Red Bull have done a great job of getting it to the point now where it will be tested this week.

“This is something that I don’t think we expected to happen. But as it has, we have got to take it seriously. If it performs as well as the Halo in testing there’s no reason why we can’t present it as a potential solution to the Strategy Group and F1 Commission.”

If the tests this week go well, then the design will be fitted to the Red Bull RB12 for an installation lap in FP1 in Sochi on April 28, to get feedback from F1 drivers.
The FIA has agreed in principle to it being tried on a race weekend as a test item, pending the results of this week’s impact tests.

Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have already tested it the Red Bull’s simulator, and both drivers have expressed their support for the Red Bull’s design concept.

Friday’s impact test will involve a 20kg wheel/hub assembly being fired at the Red Bull’s canopy at 225km/h, mimicking F1 crash incident. This was the same test that was previously applied to the Ferrari’s Halo cockpit protection system.

In addition to the Friday’s impact test, the Red Bull’s canopy design will have to meet other criteria to which the Ferrari’s Halo design has already been subjected.

Picture Courtesy: Morio/Wikipedia.org

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