Max Verstappen on Proposed “Shield” Concept: “It doesn’t look very good”

Red Bull Driver Max Verstappen comes out as a vocal opponent of the “Shield” concept – another attempt by the FIA to increase safety in F1.

What’s it going to take for the FIA to hear before they decided to hang up the hat on the prospect of making Formula One “safer”. The sport already has more safety precautions embedded in it than it ever has before, and yet they continue to harp on about additional head protection. The “Shield” concept is now the latest iteration in proposed head protection after the berated “Halo” concept was scrapped after failing to gain traction among drivers.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 16: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing on the grid during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – APRIL 16: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing on the grid during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

History seems to be setting itself up for a repeat as more and more drivers are coming forth to voice their opposition of it – even on the simple terms of aesthetics. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has added his voice to the choir, saying that the “Shield” would make F1 cars look nothing like they should:

“Formula 1 is open cockpit racing and there are always risks in every sport, it’s always part of it. Of course, there are some very unlucky accidents that happened in the past but you cannot control it and the Shield will not make a difference in that as well.

You know when the tire lands, the Shield will not protect you. I don’t really like it, it doesn’t look very cool, and I remember Formula 1 like they are now, they were just open.

That’s why I enjoy driving, and when you look at those proposals it doesn’t look very good so I wouldn’t enjoy driving it.” – Max Verstappen

SOCHI, RUSSIA - APRIL 29: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer fitted with the aeroscreen on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 29, 2016 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA – APRIL 29: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer fitted with the aeroscreen on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 29, 2016 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

One could argue that if the FIA made attempts to refocus their developmental energies on other portions of the cars, they could produce something that would potentially be a much larger safety improvement to the sport – instead of getting caught up in the back-and-forth that additional head protection has shown to be.