First test of Formula 1 shield cut short, Vettel reports dizziness

At this weekend's Formula One British Grand Prix, Ferrari driver and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel tested the "shield," a polycarbonate canopy intended to protect a driver in an accident. Teams have tested other protective devices like the "halo," but Vettel was the first to trial the new shield. In theory, the shield would protect from debris like a loose wheel or a bouncing spring without hampering visibility. Unfortunately, Vettel called it quits early after getting dizzy out on the track.

There has been a big push in recent years to make the sport safer for drivers, especially after the death of Jules Bianchi in 2015. In 2009, Felipe Massa missed much of the season after being hit in the head by a broken suspension part. The shield is essentially a windshield or canopy, protecting the driver from anything coming into the car. The open top allows the driver to escape quickly.

Vettel said the curvature of the shield distorted his vision and made him dizzy. He also complained about irregular airflow coming over the shield on the back straight, forcing his head forward.

We'll have to wait to see how things develop. The FIA is determined to introduce some sort of head protection, but the current solutions are proving difficult to implement.

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