Open Wheel car Canopies will not hinder a driver’s egress

I have heard all the arguments about the concern with a canopy on an open wheel car – especially how it might prevent a driver from getting out of the car should it be upside down. First let me say this – if a current open wheel IndyCar or F1 car is upside down the driver isn't getting out without the help of the safety crew. Period.

And the safety crew is always on the scene in a minute and usually within 15 seconds. On the truck would be a crow bar, that if needed, can pry that canopy off in seconds. And saws, which they already have, should they wish to cut it off.

So this idea that a driver is going to scramble out of a car after a severe accident unassisted is complete nonsense.

The biggest concern is fire. A fire suppression system would need to be included in the design, that automatically would pump air into the driver's helmet so they can breathe while the fire suppression material does its job on the fire or until the driver pops open the canopy if they are able to. In all cases, the safety crew would be on the scene within seconds.

A good canopy system can be designed, it just takes a serious effort and input from all involved. The number of times a canopy would save a driver's life would far outweigh any negative implications. Now is not the time to be close-minded. I have written for years that this needs to be done, and while some research has been done by the FIA on canopies, the only outcome has been excuses of why they could not do it. Maybe the right engineers were not engaged. There is no problem the right engineering team cannot solve. Mark Cipolloni, licensed Professional Engineer and President of

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