Felipe Massa's severe head injury and close call with death after being hit in the head with a spring thrown free of Rubens Barrichello's car at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, which happened less than a week after 18-year-old Henry Surtees died during a Formula Two race when a loose wheel struck his head, has put a highlight on the need for more protection of the driver's head as it sits exposed in current formula cars.

The answer may come from the world of jet fighters. A high-impact canopy could allow drivers unrestricted visibility while greatly increasing protection from errant parts, other cars, or debris loose on the track. A similar arrangement could well have saved Ayrton Senna's live had it been adopted two decades ago.

As yet it's not clear which direction the FIA will go in further protecting drivers, as it will still be important for drivers to be able to exit the cockpit quickly in the event of a fire or after a crash. The video below shows that several of the various canopies could provide an impressive degree of protection from even very high-speed impacts, however.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook and Twitter.