Aeroscreen safety device project side-lined by Red Bull

by Rachel Hack

The Red Bull Racing team has decided to call time on the development of their Aeroscreen, in light of Formula One management not pursuing that avenue in terms of cockpit safety for the time being.

The Aeroscreen was devised as a possible alternative to the Halo cockpit protection, which was designed by Mercedes AMG PETRONAS but trialled by Scuderia Ferrari at the pre-season tests in Barcelona. When the Red Bull version was tested by Daniel Ricciardo during practice for the Russian Grand Prix weekend, the Aeroscreen did gain backing, however that was more down to its aesthetic qualities than for its safety features.

Following concerns arising from subsequent crash tests carried out on the Aeroscreen, as well as questions over whether the upper rim could be a potential hazard to the drivers head during an accident, the idea was deemed not suitable for immediate follow-up, and the FIA confirmed earlier this season that they would be moving forward with the Halo device in 2017.

Considering the time and resource further development would incur, as well as the significant costs involved in such work, Red Bull have decided to suspend all activity on the Aeroscreen for the foreseeable future. The decision has been taken so as not to hamper progress with their current F1 car, as well as the production of their 2017 model which is already underway, and they will instead await further contact from the FIA, before proceeding.

The Milton Keynes based squad are hoping they may be able to persuade a third party to take over the reins of the project, someone who could devote the time, attention and care needed to develop the device to its fullest potential. Speaking to recently, Red Bull Team Boss Christian Horner, explained the squads outlook on the matter.

“At the moment we have suspended all our work on the Aeroscreen because we are awaiting a direction officially from the FIA. They have all the info.

“We don’t have the resource nor capacity to continue the development on it. Plus somebody also has to pay for it.”

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