Red Bull to develop the Aeroscreen for IndyCar

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix – Red Bull Advanced Technologies will supply a cockpit protection system known as ‘Aeroscreen’ for IndyCar from the start of 2020.

Open cockpit motorsport series began seriously considering forms of cockpit protection in recent years, following high profile accidents and potentially avoidable fatalities. Among these were Formula 2’s Henry Surtees in 2009, who died when a wheel made contact with his helmet during a race at Brands Hatch. Felipe Massa’s serious accident at the Hungaroring later that year followed, with Jules Bianchi’s eventually fatal crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix spurred on the idea of developing cockpit protection. IndyCar also began looking into the idea following the death of Justin Wilson in a race at Pocono Raceway.

Formula 1 developed prototypes of the Halo system, as well as trialling the ‘Aeroscreen’. Red Bull were amongst the teams to try out the system on track, but Formula 1 opted for the Halo system to be introduced at the start of the 2018 season.

Two years on from that introduction, IndyCar will follow suit by introducing cockpit protection and Red Bull’s Aeroscreen concept.

The wraparound ballistic screen will be included as part of the design of the cars, and is expected to match the Halo’s 150 kiloNewtons of load-bearing capability.

One of the problems complained about the Aeroscreen by the drivers during testing was reflections and glare – this will be rectified by using anti-reflective coatings on the inside of the screens, as well as anti-fogging heating elements. Tear-off strips are also a possibility, but not yet confirmed.

Red Bull Advanced Technologies will also work on a further refinement of the system, a cockpit cooling option to be designed in conjunction with Dallara, INDYCAR’s official chassis manufacturer.
Red Bull Advanced Technologies CEO is Christian Horner, also Team Principal of Red Bull Racing. He says the potential of Aeroscreen is considerable: “Since the first prototypes were developed and demonstrated in 2016, the potential of Aeroscreen to improve the safety for drivers in the event of frontal impacts in the cockpit area of cars has been clear.
“This new partnership with INDYCAR gives us at Red Bull Advanced Technologies the go-ahead to fully explore that potential, and to deliver a protection system that will help prevent serious injuries and potentially save lives in the US premier single-seater series. Over the coming months we’ll be working closely with INDYCAR and its drivers to refine and perfect Aeroscreen and we’re looking forward to seeing the results on the cars in 2020.”

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for FormulaSpy.com - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Also working in the Irish radio broadcasting industry. Donations: PayPal - paypal.me/thomasmaheronf1 ETH/ERC20 - 0x9d0b8071180AAcB0bD5f0c1d43281768C73e8763

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