Improved Cockpit Safety for 2008

After their crash at the Australian Grand Prix where Couthard s car narrowly missed Wurz s head, David Coulthard and Alex Wurz have been campaigning for better cockpit safety for the 2008 season and beyond.

Their concerns focused on the lack of adequate head protection and in the accident highlighted key areas where the car s safety could be improved. Immediately after the accident, Coulthard said, “Inevitably in these situations, it is when it is brought home how easy it would be to have a serious incident and then it moves up the importance list.

“When I spoke to Patrick Head after the event, he suggested it was a couple of years away before they might look at doing something. But maybe now it could be possible to have an improved cockpit protection for nest season already so this is something to be discussed and agreed and we, as the GPDA, can only encourage them to do that and see what the result is.”

It seems the campaign has been successful the FIA and the Technical Working Group have been involved in lengthy discussions resulting in the announcement that as of 2008, the cockpit sides will be raised on the cars. There is no word on the exact specifications of the change however the GPDA is said to be happy with the new specification.

Mark Webber, director of the GPDA, commented, “It will be great for us. IF you look at someone like Tonio Liuzzi, he is not getting the support that he needs and I am borderline as well. There are a few guys that don t get the protection. Both the guys involved in that nasty accident in Australia Alex and David were the two guys pushing it very hard. David obviously felt something had to be done after sliding across the car, and Alex felt the same after having an F1 car pass his visor.”