Modern F1 should adopt full canopy solution - di Grassi


Audi WEC driver and former Virgin F1 racer Lucas di Grassi believes Formula 1 should enter a new era of modernization and commit to a full canopy safety solution.

The Brazilian, who also competes in Formula E, thinks that the sport should take a few pointers from the World Endurance Championship and not have any inhibitions when it comes to defining a cockpit-protection system.

Both Ferrari, with its 'Halo' concept, and Red Bull have come forward with practical solutions while the FIA has yet to decide on a definitive design it hopes to introduce in 2017.

"For me, the optimum solution is a [full] canopy," di Grassi told

"That's why LMP cars have full canopies.  It was open before, but then the competition got more difficult and there was more of a need to improve efficiency. It's better for everything, even aerodynamics.

"In my opinion, F1 cars already look old, and the same [as each other]. They keep trying halfway concepts: for example, with the nose – when they came up with these weird concepts and you end up with a Caterham looking like a vacuum cleaner.

"It's like the halfway solution they will do with the canopy – they will go, and then they see it's crap. They are too afraid to commit [fully] and make a complete mess, so they commit halfway and see how it goes.

"I saw so much of this in F1, like with the bigger front wing in 2009 that you can adjust, that was a crappy solution."

While a fully enclosed cockpit has always appeared in phase with endurance racing, with regard to Grand Prix racing the approach would perhaps appear fairly distant from the sports DNA.

But di Grassi believes modern times require that traditions be called into question.

"For me what is important is for the rule makers to point out the direction, then leave the engineers to do their work.

"Safety is sometimes a different matter, like with crash tests, but with [a canopy] there is no downside.

"It's better for safety, for aerodynamics. I'm in favour of a modernisation of F1. I really like what McLaren proposed and Red Bull in 2010 [the X1]. That for me is the next step the sport should take."

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