Following the F1Fanatic debate after the Australian Grand Prix it was interesting to hear David Coulthard’s remarks in today’s Malaysian grand Prix press conference.
The ex-GPDA representative and staunch safety advocate publicly raised the possibility of cockpit covers on F1 cars, and other solutions to the problems of debris intruding into the cockpit:
I think it highlighted just how at risk the driver can be in that kind of situation. I would never imagine I would come across the top of the cockpit missing him by a very small amountâ€¦
So, inevitably, that is an area that will be talked about and looked at for the future for safety. It is part of Formula One to have open cockpits and obviously in the last decade we have had the head impacts panel thing, or whatever you call it, developed and that has improved safety a good deal but I think we can continue to work in that area.
He later added:
I think that [cockpit covers] goes against the basic rules and regulations for a Formula One car, as an open top, but my recommendation would be that any discussion with the Technical Working Group is brought forward because inevitably in these situations it is when it is brought home how easy it would be to have a serious incident, then it moves it up the importance list.
When I spoke to Patrick Head after the event, he suggested it was a couple of years away before they might look at doing something, but maybe now it could be possible to have an improved cockpit protection for next season already, so that is something to be discussed and agreed and we, as the GPDA, can only encourage them to do that and see what the result is.