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Vettel to trial 'shield' safety device on Friday

Ferrari cockpit shield
© XPB 

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will be the first driver to trial F1's new 'Shield' cockpit safety device when he takes to the track in tomorrow's first free practice session.

The component is the result of ongoing work conducted by the FIA, and follows up on the previous 'Halo' and Aeroscreen devices trialed last year.

"I will run it tomorrow, we’ll see for how long," Vettel told reporters at Silverstone.

"I have seen it on the computer, [but] I haven’t seen it in real life, I’ll check it out later on. Then obviously it depends on how it feels tomorrow."

The see-through shield which extends from the cockpit towards the car's front end offers better aesthetics than its halo and aeroscreen predecessors, but its practicality remains to be demonstrated.

Red Bull's Christian Horner suggested that the device had done undergone the proper due diligence and development work to justify its introduction any time soon.

"There are all kinds of issues concerning it," said Horner.

"I am not sure it has been through the same amount of testing as the Aeroscreen and Halo did and the catastrophic effect [of big parts hitting it] has to be taken into account. 

"So I would rather get the job done properly for 2019 than rushing something through for 2018.

"We will be relying on the feedback from one driver in one set of conditions. It won't be dark, there won't be lights, there won't be loads of oil on it, and those factors.

"I am concerned this is being rushed through without all of the due diligence being done properly."

The FIA is targeting for now a 2018 introduction, but if tests prove unsatisfactory it could revert to the Halo concept instead.

Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Shield

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