Max Verstappen Believes Shield Will Not Protect Against Freak Accidents

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing. Credit: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen believes that the Shield protection system that is currently under debate will not alleviate all risk of injury or worse from the sport.

The proposal would see a screen-like contraption reaching from the upper nose of the car towards the driver, but stopping short of fully enclosing the cockpit. It is expected to be used from next season.

Though it has proven more favourable than the Halo system, it has still divided opinion between the drivers. And the Red Bull Racing driver is the latest to air his critique, commenting that it will not protect against freak accidents, which are rare occurrences anyway.

Formula 1 is open cockpit racing and there are always risks in every sport, it’s always part of it,” he said. “Of course there are some very unlucky accidents that happened in the past but you cannot control it and the Shield will not make a difference in that as well.

“You know when the tyre lands, the Shield will not protect you. I don’t really like it, it doesn’t look very cool, and I remember Formula 1 like they are now, they were just open.

“That’s why I enjoy driving, and when you look at those proposals it doesn’t look very good so I wouldn’t enjoy driving it.”

Whether the drivers comments will have any affect on the concept’s fruition is yet to be seen.

Liberty Media are caught between a rock and a hard place; they must play a balancing act of ensuring the drivers do not come to harm whilst maintaining the spirit of the sport, which as Verstappen says above, is “open” cockpit.