IndyCar has tested a similar design to the Shield on two occasions this year. However FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting says this style of design would only offer a tenth of the level of protection that Halo did in Leclerc’s crash.
“You’ve seen the sort of protection that they have been proposing and they’ve tested, similar to the Shield I think that Sebastian tried a couple of years ago in Silverstone,” said Whiting.
“But I think what we’ve seen with Charles’ accident in Spa is that sort of thing wouldn’t have been nearly as effective. We’re looking at 10 percent of the protection that the Halo can offer, generally speaking.”
Leclerc’s Halo was hit by Fernando Alonso’s front-right wheel in a first-corner crash at the Belgian Grand Prix last month. The Halo was subject to 56 kilonewtons of force and the impact shattered the suspension on Alonso’s car.
Robert Wickens’ violent crash in the Pocono 500 last month has prompted fresh debate over safety standards in IndyCar. FIA karting president Felipe Massa accused the championship of being too slow to adopt safety improvements such as Halo.
Whiting said the FIA will also discuss the performance of the debris fence Wickens hit with IndyCar.
“I think there are lessons that we can probably both learn from that because I think one of the things that was interesting about the accident was the way in which the car, after it hit the fences, what the fences can do at those speeds depending on the angle the car hits the fences.
“It’s supposed to deflect it but it gets hit on those very, very strong uprights which are necessary to stop it going into the crowd, but obviously it can also do things to the car and driver, as we saw with Dan Wheldon, for example.”
IndyCar is not an FIA-run championship. However it is affiliated to the governing body via the Automobile Competition Committee of the United States, which is an FIA member club.
The series has not responded to a request for a comment. Yesterday Wickens’ team and family issued further details of the extent of the injuries he suffered in the crash.
IndyCar’s windscreen tests
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