Felipe Massa's frightening smash at the 2009 Hungarian GP Felipe Massa's frightening smash at the 2009 Hungarian GP

An initiative mooted to improve driver safety has been knocked back by Formula 1’s powerbrokers on the grounds that it would pose further risks to drivers and spectators.

Following Felipe Massa’s near-fatal crash during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, there had been moves afoot to design jet-fighter-style canopies for Formula 1 cockpits that could prevent future instances of drivers being struck in the head by debris.

A report in the UK’s Daily Mirror claims that the sport’s technical chiefs have canned the idea.

“You can have covers and you can have canopies, but you also have to be able to get at a driver to extract him. There are a lot of secondary considerations,” Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn is quoted as saying about the proposal.

The report added that fears over the “device [preventing] escape in the event of a car overturning or catching fire” and the risk of spectators being “at danger from flying debris ricocheting off the screens” were considered risky enough to warrant scrapping the idea.


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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.