Daniel Ricciardo said that Red Bull Racing’s ‘Aeroscreen’ cockpit protection design had no major impact on visibility after testing the prototype in Friday’s opening practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Australian ran the device for an installation lap before the team removed it, and later reported that while it felt different, vision was okay.
“The engine and everything sounds a bit different, you don’t have the interference with the wind,” he said. “In all honesty the vision is fine, that seemed OK, so first impressions were fine. It was definitely driveable.
“Once you’ve got the structure in place it’s pretty much where the mirrors are [positioned] so, I wouldn’t say you’re limited any more than we are now in terms of visibility. It’s obviously a bit different having that in front of you but generally it was as good as we could have hoped for.
“Sure, the talk has been about the open cockpit and that’s what people know F1 for and all that. That’s fair enough. It would be great to keep it as it is but with accidents that have happened, especially more recently, I think at least not to explore this route seems a bit disrespectful I would say. If this becomes the norm everyone will get used to it, I don’t think it’s as bad as some people are saying — it could happen, quite easily.”
Ricciardo also said the team plans to run the device again this season in different conditions, such as in wet weather or under floodlights.
“I think the plan is to probably try it again. Maybe on a different circuit with some different scenery, whether it’s a bit more undulation or a night circuit, the lights could be interesting with how it reflects off the shield. So we’ll probably give it a bit more running. But [the] first impression was actually fine.
“You hop in and it feels fine, sure it doesn’t feel normal, but once I got going it was fine and I had a Ferrari in front and you can still see and pick where they were and lines and this and that so visibility seemed pretty good.”
Images via Red Bull Racing