Automotive

Controversial "halo" to arrive in F1 next year

F1 cars will be fitted with the halo next year 
F1 cars will be fitted with the halo next year 
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F1 cars will be fitted with the halo next year 
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F1 cars will be fitted with the halo next year 
The halo is made of carbon fiber 
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The halo is made of carbon fiber 
The halo is controversial, but the F1 Strategy Group has given it the green light 
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The halo is controversial, but the F1 Strategy Group has given it the green light 
The halo is made from carbon fiber 
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The halo is made from carbon fiber 

After sporadic testing, the F1 Strategy Group says the cockpit-style "halo" will be mandatory for season 2018. Designed to protect drivers from flying debris, the slim carbon structure was chosen ahead of the aerodynamic windshield tested by Sebastian Vettel last week.

The decision to introduce frontal protection for drivers was reached in 2016, but it's taken more than 12 months for the Strategy Group to decide on what that protection should look like. An aerodynamic windshield was put to the test alongside the halo, but the distortion it caused made Sebastian Vettel "a little bit dizzy" – and if there's one thing you don't want while piloting a hybrid monster, it's dizziness.

Both the halo and windshield are a response to incidents where debris, other cars or track maintenance equipment have caused serious head injuries. The death of Jules Bianchi is the most prominent recent example, but the list of near misses dates back to the Hungary Grand Prix in 2009, when Felipe Massa was struck in the head by a flying spring.

Although it will look similar to the hoop you see above, the halo design is likely to change slightly before the start of the 2018 season. The F1 Strategy Group simply says "with the support of the teams, certain features of its design will be further enhanced."

So it makes the sport safer, and doesn't make drivers dizzy. You'd think drivers and teams would be on board, right? Well, it turns out not everyone is a fan. Lewis Hamilton used an Instagram post to label the halo "the worst looking mod in Formula 1 history," while the majority of drivers asked about the proposed safety device were against its introduction.

Source: FIA

4 comments
Kevin Ritchey
Anything that helps save lives is good except when it interferes with a driver's full vision of the road ahead. Getting ridiculous.
Gregg Eshelman
Looks like cars circa 1951 when most of them still had a two piece windshield. For 1952~1953, most brands changed to a one piece, curved windshield. Hudson held off on that until 1954.
KaiserPingo
Its stupid. Would not have saved Jules. Now drivers have even more difficulties observing track and other cars. The halo makes it more difficult to enter and exit the car, and if the racer tumbles over, its more likely to stay upsidedown, catching the driver stuck inside. This is so utterly un-intelligent.
VincentBrennan
While I agree that they look awful sometimes safety just moves on. An example is the "HANS" device. Very few drivers wanted that thing but none of them would race without it now. Another example is the current Indy Car design, very ugly but it incorporates the rear bumpers that prevent an accident like the one that killed Dan Wheldon. I do not like the look of this but I did not like seeing Massa hit in the head or Bianchi killed not to mention the most recent death in Indy Car. I remember when 3-5 drivers were killed every year in F1 and the same number in Indy Car. At almost every step some one did not like the safety measures to stop that. "They know the risks" was and is a common statement. I knew the risks when I raced too but I now cringe thinking about some of them. I also thought I knew the risks of not wearing a seat belt until I went through the windshield of the family car when I was 14, now I will not back out of the driveway with out belts. Time changes, safety changes, the cars change. Yes it is ugly. No I do not like it. 3 seasons from now we probably will not even notice it.