British Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel does not like ‘shield’

Vettel said his vision was “not very good” due to the curvature of the screen, so abandoned it after just one lap of first practice

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel said he did not like the new ‘shield’ head protection system when he tried it in practice at the British Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion ran just one lap with the device fitted to his car before abandoning it.

“I got a bit dizzy. The forward vision is not very good. I think it is because of the curvature,” Vettel said.

“You get distortion plus a bit of downwash on the back of the helmet on the straights pushing my head forward.”

He added: “We had a run planned with it, but I didn’t like it so I took it off.”

Governing body the FIA has developed the device after the teams said they preferred the idea of a clear screen over the controversial halo device tested last year, which is a wishbone-shape over the cockpit, including a bar in front of the driver’s head.

Kimi Raikkonen tested the ‘halo’ at the final pre-season test in Barcelona in March 2016

A full first test is scheduled for the Italian Grand Prix in September. The FIA ran the device at Silverstone “in an effort to get initial feedback from drivers at the earliest possible stage of development”.

The FIA is committed to introducing additional cockpit head protection in 2018 but so far the only device that has proved to satisfy all the requirements is the halo.

However, there is a reluctance in some quarters to use the halo, largely on aesthetic grounds but also because of concerns it potentially undermines F1’s ethos as an open-cockpit formula.

Red Bull’s ‘aeroscreen’ design was tested during practice at the Russian Grand Prix in 2016

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