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Red Bull canopy could be ready for 2017

Gasperotti/Sutton

Red Bull's canopy protection concept could be ready for implementation in 2017 if early tests are positive, according to FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

The FIA is pushing forward with introducing some form of cockpit protection device next year, with the Halo device tested by Ferrari during winter testing previously seen as the only practical short-term solution. Red Bull's canopy design is one of the others on the table but was not thought to be a viable alternative for next season due to the short timeframe involved.

The FIA plans to test a prototype today and, if it has positive results, the concept could be on the agenda at the next meeting of the decision-making Strategy Group and F1 Commission on April 26.

"I think it's fair to say that when it was initially presented it was in its infancy," Whiting told Motorsport.com "However Red Bull have done a great job of getting it to the point now where it will be tested this week.

"This is something that I don't think we expected to happen. But as it has, we have got to take it seriously. If it performs as well as the Halo in testing there's no reason why we can't present it as a potential solution to the Strategy Group and F1 Commission."

Red Bull plans to fit the canopy to the RB12 for an installation lap during first practice in Russia next weekend. Much like with Ferrari's test of the Halo in Barcelona, this will allow the FIA to hear feedback from a driver having actually taken the device on to a circuit.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has previous said the team's canopy "covers a few more bases" from a safety perspective than the Halo device. Both Ricciardo and teammate Daniil Kvyat have sampled the device in the Milton Keynes simulator and provided positive early feedback.