Wurz: Head protection and better tyres

Date published: January 25 2016 - Editor

Alexander Wurz says it is "time to implement the extra protection" for the drivers after the FIA tested several different ideas.

Last year Jules Bianchi died from the head injuries he suffered in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. A month later IndyCar's Justin Wilson, a former F1 driver, was killed when he was struck on the head by debris from a car that crashed ahead of him.

The FIA reacted to these tragedies by testing various ways to increase cockpit head protection and Wurz says they must now push on with implementing it.

"The research the FIA experts have done is very thorough and the process has brought forward a clear solution," Wurz, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman, told the BBC.

"Now the drivers feel it's time to implement the extra protection at the latest in 2017."

He added: "Obviously structural changes are required to the chassis but, with almost a one-year lead time, I don't see any technical person speaking against such substantial safety improvements, especially given the last big accidents in open-wheel racing involved head injuries.

"So all the drivers, and I, hope that passing the additional head protection will be a formality."

Added to that the Austrian says it is also time to improve the tyres.

"The drivers want to underline very clearly that they would love Pirelli to produce a tyre which goes faster around corners as well as being safe," he said.

"If we get sticky tyres, we will have happy drivers, and happy drivers means authentic and honest performance, pure message for the product and driving the cars to the maximum.

"That's what we want and, according to the fan survey we did last year, what all the fans expect."