FIA testing forward roll-hoop concept for F1

The FIA Institute, charged with developing safer motor sport, has completed preliminary tests of its latest cockpit protection device.

The institute worked with Lotus to produce a forward roll-hoop which would deflect anything approaching the driver from the front, such as a tyre or car.

The device affixes to the bulkhead ahead of the driver and behind the nosecone and can easily withstand an impact from a 20kg tyre travelling at 225km/h - as seen in the below video.

Cockpit safety has become a growing concern following the death of Henry Surtees, son of former-F1 champion John, when a loose tyre struck his head during a Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch.

Most notably, Felipe Massa was knocked unconcious following an accident in which he was struck on the head by a spring in 2009.

Michael Schumacher suffered a near-miss in 2010 when Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India mounted the German's Mercedes and came close to hitting Schumacher.

The forward roll-hoop is the latest innovation aimed at reducing such impacts and injuries following a successful test of a closed cockpit last year.

Andy Moeller, Technical Advisor to the FIA ​​Institute, says the test was a success: "The roll-bar has completed its task in principle. It was able to keep the wheel away from the driver's head," he told IQ Magazine.

"We struck the hoop with the wheel both from the center and with a side angle," he added, but admitted the device would require further trials to see what the impact on driver vision would be, before presenting the findings to Formula 1's Technical Working Group (TWG).

"At this point it is pure research, which we need, and to understand the forces of such a collision. We are not yet at a final solution."