Halo looks set to be adopted for 2018

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

De­spite con­cerns about driver ac­cess and the view through mir­rors, driver feed­back in prac­tice ses­sions is mostly pos­i­tive

Formula 1 is press­ing ahead with plans to in­tro­duce the halo head-pro­tec­tion sys­tem for 2018, af­ter tests in prac­tice ses­sions at grands prix in­di­cated that there were no ma­jor problems. The halo had been slated for 2017, but the F1 Strat­egy Group de­cided to de­lay its in­tro­duc­tion for a year so fur­ther re­search could be con­ducted into its po­ten­tial con­se­quences.

Part of their con­cerns re­lated to the ef­fect the halo would have on driver vis­i­bil­ity, but this has since been proved not to be an is­sue, fol­low­ing a se­ries of runs by var­i­ous teams and driv­ers in prac­tice ses­sions in re­cent races.

Lewis Hamil­ton said he “barely no­ticed” the halo when he tried it in Sin­ga­pore, say­ing it blocked his view of the tim­ing screens when sit­ting in the pits and out of his rear view mir­rors, but there was no prob­lem out on track. Hamil­ton, who was out­spo­kenly op­posed to the halo when he rst saw it, but be­came one of its more vo­cal pro­po­nents once he un­der­stood its safety as­pects, went as far as to say he felt he could have run with it for the re­main­der of the week­end with­out any problems.

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo also told the FIA that the halo blocked his view through his mir­rors. Fer­nando Alonso said he felt driver ac­cess needed to be im­proved.

In­sid­ers say the view in the mir­rors is a non­is­sue be­cause it is sim­ply a func­tion of how the halo has to be mounted on 2016 cars; its rear mount­ing points will be in a dif­fer­ent place when it is for­mally adopted. As for driver ac­cess, the FIA be­lieves that slightly increased difculty in get­ting in and out of a car is a small price to pay for the im­proved safety the de­vice pro­vides. How­ever, the re suf­fered by Kevin Mag­nussen’s Re­nault in prac­tice in Malaysia, although a rare oc­cur­rence, will doubt­less lead to a re­think on this lat­ter point.

The halo has been proven in FIA tests to pro­vide close to 100 per cent pro­tec­tion in all in­ci­dents in which a large ob­ject – such as a wheel or a wall – threatens to in­trude on the cock­pit space. In ad­di­tion, there is a 17 per cent re­duc­tion in risk from small ob­jects, such as the sus­pen­sion part that frac­tured Felipe Massa’s skull at the 2009 Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix.

The like­li­hood of the halo be­ing the safety de­vice that is ul­ti­mately adopted is only increased by the fact that there are no other al­ter­na­tives in the pipe­line. The in­ten­tion is for all driv­ers to try it be­fore the end of the sea­son, and they have each been given a ques­tion­naire to ll in to record their ob­ser­va­tions.

Lewis Hamil­ton said he “barely no­ticed” the halo when he tri­alled it in Sin­ga­pore

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