Halo cho­sen ahead of aero­screen for 2017

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

De­spite of­fer­ing bet­ter pro­tec­tion from fly­ing de­bris, the aero­screen was re­jected after suf­fer­ing dam­age in FIA tests

For­mula 1 bosses have se­lected the halo as the head-pro­tec­tion de­vice that will be in­tro­duced into the sport for 2017.

The de­ci­sion has been made be­cause the ri­val aero­screen de­vice, which had been cham­pi­oned by Red Bull and had, in April, emerged as the fron­trun­ner on the grounds of per­ceived bet­ter aes­thet­ics, ran into trou­ble.

The aero­screen had per­formed well in ini­tial tests, but the de­vice was badly dam­aged in ofcial FIA tri­als be­fore the Monaco Grand Prix. The FIA’s self-im­posed dead­line for choos­ing a pro­tec­tion de­vice was the end of June, and while it be­lieved a so­lu­tion could be found to the aero­screen’s prob­lems, it did not think this could be re­solved by the dead­line.

Test­ing of the aero­screen will con­tinue, how­ever, with a view to its fu­ture use in F1. It is be­lieved to have an ad­van­tage over the halo in that the screen pro­vides ex­tra pro­tec­tion from ying de­bris, but it has un­re­solved dis­ad­van­tages. One of these is the ques­tion of how vis­i­bil­ity will be af­fected in wet weather or in cases where there is glare from the sun.

Both de­vices need to be re­vised to pro­vide enough ‘free head space’ for the driver. This con­cept is based on knowl­edge of how much a driver’s head can move in a high-en­ergy ac­ci­dent, and dic­tates an area into which noth­ing must pro­trude. The FIA has dis­cussed the is­sue with Red Bull, but a pro­to­type has yet to be pro­duced to take this into ac­count.

Fi­nal tests will be un­der­taken us­ing a re­vised ver­sion of the halo, made from ti­ta­nium rather than steel, which will have a slightly smaller sec­tion where the three arms of the halo meet in front of the driver’s head. No prob­lems that could pre­vent its in­tro­duc­tion next sea­son are fore­seen, and a nal de­ci­sion will be made by the Strat­egy Group, be­fore it is voted on by the F1 Com­mis­sion and FIA World Coun­cil.

Ob­jec­tions are not ex­pected. A se­nior source said: “Ev­ery­one ac­cepts it needs to be done.” If nec­es­sary, how­ever, the FIA has the right to force it through on safety grounds.

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