Wednesday, September 19, 2012

quick sketches: closed / open cockpit hybrid

In light of the recent incident at Spa with Alonso and Grosjean, as well as other incidents in the past few years, the debate over closing the cockpits in F1 has been reignited. Personally, I feel that a closed cockpit is the inevitable future of the sport, but I respect and understand the concerns of ruining the aesthetic and essence of the formula. The sketches above show a compromise between the current design and a closed cockpit. The roll bar / air intake becomes a protective hood over the driver allowing for more side and front protection. The hood creates a smaller space for objects to enter. A wheel/tire coming from the front or side would be stopped by he hood instead of making direct contact with the helmet. The "hood" could be further protected by diagonal bars extending from the side of the cockpit to the hood. This area could also be protected by ballistic glass. The second design presents potential problems for quick entry and exit of the cockpit but the general principle could be explored to offer more side protection to protect the head in an incident similar to what happened at Spa.

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