FIA releases first shots of 'Shield' cockpit protection device


SPIELBERG, Austria -- The FIA has released the first shots of the the Shield cockpit protection device it hopes to implement on Formula One cars in future, which will be tested during the British Grand Prix weekend.

Motorsport's governing body has been pushing for some form of cockpit protection system for open wheel racing since 2015, when Justin Wilson was killed by a flying piece of debris during an IndyCar race. Last year two devices, Halo and Aeroscreen, were tested at various points of the year, but both those concepts have been ditched in favour of the Shield design.

The FIA is determined to implement some sort of cockpit protection device to F1 cars in time for the 2018 season, and the Shield appears to have become the governing body's favourite design. The first images were released to the press on Saturday, showing it attached to a Williams. As it did with the Halo in 2016, Ferrari will be the first team to test the device -- doing so for a short time during the opening practice session at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix.

The Shield is currently undergoing a series of indoor and outdoor tests ahead of its first full track at Monza in September. The FIA is working with teams to define the geometry of the device, which runs around the front of the cockpit.

In the release circulated to media, the FIA said the device is "aimed at providing significant protection from debris, while ensuring unrestricted forward vision for the driver."