IndyCar has released a render image of its new cabin protection device, the AFP, or Advanced Frontal Protection. The three-inch-tall and ¾-inch wide titanium piece mounted ahead of the driver has been designed to deflect debris away from the driver, and it also replaces the earlier windscreen-type protector that had been tested. As it is roughly the size of a sharkfin rooftop antenna, it is a lot smaller than anything else that has been in consideration for IndyCar.
IndyCar says the piece has passed the same strength tests as the touted roll hoop, both devices made by Dallara. And it has been tested on-track and in simulators since 2012. All cars that take part in an open test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 24 will have the device fitted. It’s said that the protection device, at least, doesn’t markedly affect the driver’s view.
While the AFP is a lot slighter than the halo device implemented on Formula One cars, it’s stated in the IndyCar release that a halo has also been in consideration for this class of racing, but that the current IndyCar chassis cannot be fitted with one. Earlier statements have also ruled out using a halo due to the way it limits the driver’s view up. Formula One ran its first season with the halo last year, and the device likely saved Sauber driver Charles Leclerc’s life in a fearsome crash (below) at the Belgian Grand Prix.
A PPG windscreen was tested a year ago, with possible cooling, glare and fogging issues listed as demerits.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 27, 2018