What the FIA didn’t use
A CLOSED cockpit would be considered even more sacrilegious in F1, yet the FIA did use a jet-fighter canopy for benchmarking purposes during early testing of enhancedhead-protection concepts.
At a disused Royal Airforce base, a compound-nitrogenpowered cannon was used to fire a 20kg wheel assembly at both the canopy and a more racecar-like windshield for comparison.
The wheel was deflected away from the cockpit in both scenarios, though only the canopy made from aerospacespec polycarbonate and designed to withstand a bird strike at 1000km/h didn’t shatter.
A similar experiment was conducted on a titanium forward rollhoop designed by Lotus F1 as the FIA tried to retain an open-cockpit look.
Ideas also included fins positioned ahead of the cockpit, ‘wires’ that ran across the top of the cockpit from behind the driver’s head to the car’s nose, and wraparound screens.
All ended up in the ejector seat, however, as the FIA chose the Halo, at least for now, as the most realistic option.