Reporters – 23/04/2017

Features Reporters

Head protection has been on the agenda for years, and could a shield be another option for the sport?

Shielded from debris – latest head protection idea

Autosport has revealed how a ‘shield’ cockpit protection device which was presented to drivers last week will work. The sport has committed to introducing some kind of head protection next year

Rather than the shield being an attachment around the edge of the cockpit like the halo and aeroscreen, it is more integral to the nose section of the car and begins much further forward than the two ideas already trialled.

The sloping see-through screen does not extend fully over the cockpit, even though it does end up higher than the driver’s crash helmet.

Drivers were told over the weekend that the screen has been effective in early testing for smaller pieces of debris, it is not as effective when it comes to deflecting larger items such as wheels.

The resistance to the halo from some quarters have suggested that the shield could present the best compromise between safety and aesthetics.

Williams Felipe Massa who was left fighting for his life after being hit by a spring during qualifying for 2009 Hungarian GP, argued a final decision on which cockpit system to use should be made only on safety grounds.

He told Autosport when asked by Autosport for his opinion on the shield “To be honest it looks really nice It’s beautiful compared to the halo.

“but I don’t think we need to go for how beautiful it is, but how better it is for the safety. That’s the only answer we gave to them. If you can make it better, nicer and safer then it’s done.”

“Maybe for my accident this new system could have been OK, but for some other accidents maybe not,” he added

The FIA and teams have agree to introduce a form of cockpit protection for next season, but an agreement has not yet been reached on which. But, an agreement needs to be reached by a majority before the end of the Russian Grand Prix weekend to be brought in for 2018.


Fernando Alonso stunted Formula One last week when he announced he would not race in Monaco to contest the Indianapolis 500. But is it about him aiming for the triple crown or a sign of his growing frustration with McLaren?

Alonso to miss Monaco

Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix as he will be taking part in the Indianapolis 500. The move comes after a disappointing start to the season with McLaren failing to get the most out of the Honda power unit.

Talks between McLaren, Alonso and Andretti have been going on for weeks in secret, with an agreement being reached which will also see the   Andretti Autosport, which will be painted in McLaren’s  iconic orange livery.

It will be Alonso’s first attempt at IndyCar’s most famous race and his first experience of oval racing. He said “I’m immensely excited that I’ll be racing in this year’s Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport,”

“The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix, and it’s, of course, a regret of mine that I won’t be able to race at Monaco this year.”

Alonso says he will be back for Montreal and it’s expected that the team’s reserve driver Jenson Button will stand in for the weekend, however, this hasn’t been confirmed.


Since that report was filed, McLaren has confirmed Jenson Button will replace Alonso for Monaco. Pascal Wehrlein missed the first two races of the season because of his injuries from The Race of Champions. He was criticised by many, but before his return, he went on the attack

Wehrlein hits back to critics  

Pascal Wehrlein has hit back at his critics following his withdrawal from the Australian and Chinese Grand Prix’s. The German withdrew because of a back injury from January’s Race of Champions.

After Friday practice last weekend, he agreed Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff that he would also miss China while getting back to full fitness.

This prompted criticism from within the paddock, with suggestions that a driver should try to compete at all costs, and that driving the car would be the best way of keeping fit.

Wehrlein today in Bahrain said, “I don’t care too much what the others said, because they didn’t know my situation and they were commenting on my situation.”

“I think for me it was the right decision, and it was felt together with Monisha and with Toto. What the others drivers think, it’s their opinion. If you don’t know which injury someone had, you shouldn’t criticise him. It’s quite simple, you know.”

New information has emerged about the accident, with him saying he was unable to move for long periods. This meant he lost a lot of muscle.

He added “I’m feeling definitely a lot better, so no comparison to


Formula One can appear isolationist at times. Well last Sunday before the Bahrain Grand Prix, events at Donington in the UK saw a seventeen-year-old lose his legs. This is how the British drivers showed they cared…              

F1 backs Monger appeal

An appeal launched to help fund the treatment of Formula Four driver Billy Monger has raised more than double its target. The seventeen-year-old has lost both his lower legs after being involved in an accident during a race at Donington Park last Sunday.

He was woken up from his induced coma at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham on Thursday and has since gone back into surgery. The appeal has already reached half a million after receiving backing from Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.

Steven Hunter, the team principal for the JHR Developments team Monger was driving for, told Sky News: “He’s come out of his coma today and opened his eyes.

“We’ve had a thumbs-up and he’s given a little bit of a fist pump to his mechanic Jamie. So today has been a really good day for what is obviously a horrific incident.”

The target of £260,000 has already reached over half a million pounds. Hunter says that they can do more saying now they “can make sure he’s got some good prosthetics to be able to learn to walk on again.”

Button donated £15,000 saying “This guy needs our help so if you can please donate, I will be doing as much as I can to help this dude out.”


That’s all from Reporters this week


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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