Too late to introduce 'Shield' cockpit protection in 2018 - Red Bull boss

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes it is already too late for teams to integrate the 'Shield' into their 2018 car designs as a troublesome first test at Silverstone placed further doubt over its readiness.

Sebastian Vettel trialled the canopy-style device for the first time in public on Friday but what was supposed to be a multi-run test in opening practice was ended after just a single lap as the German reported back feeling "dizzy" as well as having visual problems.

It was a setback for the governing body, the FIA, who are pushing for the introduction of some kind of additional cockpit protection next season, whether it be the Shield or the previous tested 'Halo' but Horner believes even a successful test at Silverstone wouldn't have left sufficient time to implement it for any team on the grid.

“About 2 months ago,” he said when suggesting when he thought a final decision should have been made. "Those things take a bit of time to get on top for a big team like Red Bull Racing, so I can only imagine the difficulty that would present for a lesser equipped team.”

With the problems Vettel had, however, the Briton feels there is a long way to go before the Shield is race-ready.

“Based on the comments that I’ve read from Sebastian, it didn’t sound to be too popular,” he told Reuters."You could hear him saying that it was pushing his head forward and playing around with the aerodynamics quite significantly.

“It feels immature in its concept at the moment to introduce for next year. I’m sure it will be discussed in the Strategy Group on Wednesday.”

Further development will be done with a wider test of the then-updated Shield expected for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September. As for the question of if any device at all will be introduced next year, Force India deputy team boss Bob Fernley seemed sure there would be.

“We’re committed to doing something, it’s just a question of which direction we decide to go down,” he said.

“The best solution would probably be to build in the mountings for the Shield and continue to work on it and introduce it as and when it is perfected.

“We’ve just got to make a decision on which one we’re going to evaluate fully.”