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F1 Australian GP: ‘Halo’ set for F1 introduction from 2017

The 'halo' cockpit protection device is on course to be introduced to F1 from 2017, with Charlie Whiting saying development is going 'extremely well'
The controversial 'halo' cockpit protection device is on course to be introduced to Formula 1 from 2017 as the FIA continues to work on its development following a public airing in pre-season testing.

The much discussed device, which had only been seen in renderings up until March after months of development, broke cover during testing as Ferrari completed a handful of laps with its version of the device.

Though Ferrari stressed it was an early prototype that would undergo many modifications before it was ever used in competition, its surprise reveal was seen as indicative of how far progress had come in recent months.

Indeed, FIA Formula 1 Director Charlie Whiting, in a briefing with media at the Australian Grand Prix, says it has already undergone extensive testing and suggests it is on course for introduction from 2017 as the alternative proposed by Red Bull wouldn't be ready in time.

“I think it is going pretty well,” he said. “We have tested the so called halo and it has been tested extensively now and I think it will offer very good protection for a flying wheel. That is the main thing that has been tested so far.

“We need to do a thorough risk assessment on it, a number of other related things like extrication and talk to medical crews about it but I think it is going quite well. We have a separate working group just to deal with that with that which is headed up by Mercedes and Ferrari and they are doing a really good job with that.”

Asked whether he felt the 'halo' would potentially create other issues, such as deflecting a piece of small debris into the cockpit into a less protected area, Whiting says risks

“This is a job for the professionals and we have professionals doing a proper risk assessment on element analysis,” he continued. “I take the point, I am not qualified to say how one goes about that, but things like the high nose vs. the low nose argument, there was suggestion that the low nose might see cars go underneath another one.

“The assessment we made was that there were far more accidents likely to happen with a high nose to wheel contact resulting in cars launching. That sort of thing is a simple risk assessment and the halo is more complex and there are many more things to assess. We do have professionals doing that and I will trust their judgement.”

Whiting went on to add any device would be mandatory, in reaction to Lewis Hamilton's claim he won't race with it, and says any implementation in F1 would eventually trickle down to other series' over time.

by Ollie Barstow

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover. 04.03.2016.
Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-31 with sensor equipment as Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover leaves the pits. 04.03.2016.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover. 04.03.2016.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover. 04.03.2016.
Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari SF16-T
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport in 30 Seconds, 11th January 2017
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes

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March 18, 2016 9:35 AM

Perhaps the drivers should also have cotton wool gently inserted into their cockpits... Nobody wants to see serious injuries or fatalities but the sport has already been sanitised enough, when will it stop...? Also this generation of cars are ugly enough as they are, do we need to make them aesthetically even worse...


March 18, 2016 7:42 AM
Last Edited 162 days ago

I still don't understand why they are using the "halo". The drivers head is still exposed and it would do much if there is a wheel hitting them from above or an errant spring coming face on. I think they should scrap the idea for now and maybe come back to it at a later stage when they find a better solution.

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