Could closed cockpits work for F1? Smedley poses idea to Autosport


Williams’ Rob Smedley has told Autosport that from a technical point of view, closed cockpits could be implemented rather simply to Formula One cars.

The comments come in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s horrific accident on Sunday in Suzuka, which Smedley described as a “freak accident.”

“From a technical point of view it’s something very easy to implement,” Smedley said. “It’s something that we’ve looked at in lots of the technical working group meetings and we’ve been back and forwards.”

Smedley, now Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, has been through a similar time period in his career, then serving as Felipe Massa’s race engineer at Ferrari.

Massa’s head was struck by an errant suspension spring at Hungary, but fortunately, he was able to recover after missing the remainder of the 2009 season.

Such an actual change would need to go through several levels of deliberation and discussion by those groups involved in the sport before being implemented. Alexander Wurz, head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, has warned against knee-jerk reactions.

Aesthetics would change, but Smedley said that’s been constant throughout F1 since the first season in 1950.

Still, the focus remains on praying and wishing for Bianchi’s recovery.