Vettel gives ‘Shield’ public debut in first Silverstone practice (PHOTOS)

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Formula 1 got an idea of what its future cars may look like during opening practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday as Sebastian Vettel gave the ‘Shield’ cockpit protection device its public debut.

F1’s bosses have been pushing to introduce some kind of cockpit protection in a bid to prevent head injuries caused by debris following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson in 2015.

Two options – the ‘Halo’ and the ‘Aeroscreen’ – were trialled through 2016 with a view to introducing one of them for this year, but neither proved to be a suitable-enough solution for the sport.

The Shield has been under discussion for a number of months, with the FIA confirming last weekend in Austria that it would enjoy its first public test in FP1 at Silverstone, kicking off a long-term development program.

Vettel headed out to complete three laps using the Shield at the start of FP1, the system attached to his Ferrari SF70H car.