Kimi Raikkonen trials ‘Halo’ F1 cockpit protection in Barcelona

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Kimi Raikkonen has given the proposed ‘Halo’ cockpit protection system its first public trial during Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, Spain.

Following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson in 2015, driver safety in open-cockpit racing has once again become a focus, with a number of steps being taken in a bid to prevent head injuries in the future.

A number of F1 teams have put forward a prototype design that could be introduced as early as 2017, but today saw the Halo – currently the front-runner – make its public debut.

The Halo bears a similar shape to a wishbone and is affixed to either side of the cockpit as well as in front of the driver, and was given its first test by Raikkonen on Thursday morning.

The Finn reported that the vision in the car was “OK” in spite of the central pillar which has been a concern for some.

Ferrari then brought the Halo design into the media centre, allowing for a closer inspection.

Ferrari confirmed to NBC Sports F1 pit reporter Will Buxton that the Halo will not be used again during testing, as it was merely a test run for the design on track.

Discussions regarding the introduction of some kind of cockpit protection for the 2017 season are set to continue, with a decision likely to be made upon the finalizing of the technical regulations.