FIA to Introduce Protective Windshields on F1 Cars?

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) will reportedly push for the introduction of plexiglass windshields on Formula One cars in the near future. The move would ensure some extra protection for the drivers against being hit in the head.

And it was Italian magazine Autosprint whose reporters posted a photoshopped image of a possible F1 windshield, after finding out that the FIA is proposing such an innovation for the future (for a yet unknown date).

According to the Italian reporters, the proposed protective structure will not impede in any way the driver's visibility, yet it could withstand the impact of a flying wheel or the full weight (640 kg) of a Formula One car. Further developing of the structure is needed however, as the windshield would affect the aerodynamic capabilities of an F1 racer, so it will have to be designed in such a way that it won't affect airflow around the car.

The FIA started thinking about such solutions after Felipe Massa's accident last year, during the Hungarian Grand Prix, when a piece of Rubens Barrichello's car hit him in the helmet and left him unconscious. The incident happened one day after F2 racer Henry Surtees died after a wheel that had come off a competitor's car hit him in the head during a race at Brands Hatch.

After recovering from his skull injury, Massa told the media that “I'm not saying we need to cover (the cockpit) completely. But maybe there are some other things we can do to the car to stop a wheel hitting your head.”

Another incident occurred in the late stages of the 2010 F1 season, at Abu Dhabi, when Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India car rode up Michael Schumacher's Mercedes W01 and nearly struck the German's head.
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