Sebastian Vettel cuts short test of shield safety device because of dizziness

14 July 2017 03:39

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel had to cut short his trial with the so-called 'shield' on Friday after complaining of dizziness.

The transparent safety device, which sits in front of the driver, was attached to Vettel's Ferrari during opening practice for the British Grand Prix.

But the four-time world champion, a keen advocate for improving cockpit safety, gave the new design the thumbs down after managing only three laps of the Silverstone circuit.

"I tried it this morning and I got a bit dizzy," Vettel, who leads Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings by 20 points, and was the first driver to trial the new device, said.

"Forward vision is not very good. It's probably because of the curvature, you get quite a bit of distortion, plus you get quite a bit of downwash down the straights pushing the helmet forwards.

"We had a run planned with it, but I didn't like it so we took it off."

The shield, made of transparent polycarbonate, is designed to sit in front of the driver and deflect any flying debris. It is now the FIA's preferred option over the 'canopy' and the 'halo' - the latter of which was last year described by Hamilton as the "worst-looking modification" in the sport's history.

The shield is expected to be used again after the summer break with the FIA, the sport's governing body, aiming to carry out a full track test at September's Italian Grand Prix to evaluate whether it can become mandatory next season.

The bid to improve cockpit safety in Formula One comes after British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson and Henry Surtees, competing in Formula Two, were killed in recent years after they were struck on the crash helmet by debris from other accidents.

Source: PA