Following the driver halo of Mercedes and Ferrari a second driver safety device is being tested by Red Bull Racing. Looking similar to a windscreen on an open cockpit airplane, Red Bull Racing's 'Aeroscreen' is a windshield mounted on twin pillars attached to either side of the cockpit. The device was fitted to Daniel Ricciardo’s RB12 car and used during a installation lap at the Sochi Autodrom during activities for the Russian Grand Prix.
Red Bull Racing conducted static tests prior of the technology prior to the on track test. During those tests the screen underwent a test in which a wheel, ballasted to weight 20kg, was fired via a ram at the screen at a speed of 225km/h. The high-speed impact wrecked the wheel rim and the tire, but the screen remained intact.
The initial test was followed by a the high-tech screen specialists Isoclima in which a 1kg projectile was fired at the screen at 230kph. Once again the object was deflected and the screen remained intact.
According to the FIA visibility through is the next hurdle to overcome. There are obvious concerns about impaired visibility due to oil or dirt would be addressed.
"That is something I asked about,” said the Australian. “A quick one for now is that during pit stops you will have a tear off system – NASCAR has something similar. Then you can get these coatings on the screens, I guess it works a bit like in the rain with the visor, you have the Rain-X or whatever, and the stuff just floats off. So oils and things like these get dispersed quite quickly. There are few short-term things which will be used if needed.”
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