FIA Racing Director Charlie Whiting says there will not be a pursuit of a hybrid prototype of the Halo and the Aerscreen cockpit protection devices which have been demonstrated this year and will see the development of the Halo continue for its expected introduction in 2018.
After originally being lined up for a 2017 introduction, the cockpit protection device has been deferred for at least a year in order to give more drivers opportunities to experiment with it while adding more time to the development.
The Halo has been sounded out as the preferred cockpit protection solution, while Red Bull trialled its own version called the Aeroscreen which provides a fortified Perspex screen into front of a driver's head.
Despite conceding the Aeroscreen could potentially provide a higher safety standard statistically, Whiting says the FIA won't experiment with a hybrid of the two units over the next 18 months.
“I don't think there's any possibility at this stage of any hybrid,” Whiting said. “We know that the Halo is being tested with a wheel being thrown at it – a wheel and upright assembly, which is 20kgs – at 225 kph, which is a pretty awesome thing to watch. The Halo is there principally to look into the way drivers have been hit by wheels but also where we've seen cars in contact with walls, for example.
“It can withstand a load 15 times the weight of the car, so that's twice as strong as the current roll structure. But of course when you look at the small objects coming towards it, we've done a paper study to theoretically throw over a million angles and different scenarios, and we conclude that 17 per cent of the time, it will deflect something from the driver.
“The Aeroscreen obviously offers the screen, which is in addition to the Halo that provides more or less complete protection from the front. But the downsides are that it gets dirty and needs to be cleaned or it rains.”
READ: All F1 drivers urged to trial halo in 2016 by the FIA
The FIA is planning to increase its testing with the Halo with the possibility of running it on an F1 car at Spa and Monza, while there is also interest to see how it impacts visibility in night and evening races like Singapore and Abu Dhabi.