Paddy Lowe has warned the biggest impact the Halo will have on 2018 Formula 1 cars will be the added weight the cockpit safety device will apply and the Williams chief fears it’ll hamper heavier drivers more.

The Halo device is mandatory to run on all F1 cars from 2018 and as a result it has become a key consideration into designs for all teams with the belief that whichever F1 squad can minimise the impact of the Halo will find performance gains on its rivals.

The Williams technical boss accepts the mounting challenge of efficiently installing the Halo design into an F1’s car aerodynamic configuration without hurting its overall balance and speed but has pointed out the weight of the device will be a bigger factor in 2018 car development.

“The weight is probably the biggest thing which people aren’t talking about so much,” Lowe said. “It is very heavy not just as a component but also the structure you put in to take the loads. Performance-wise it’ll be the weight which will be more significant than the aerodynamic impact which is negligible.”

Lowe also fears the heavier drivers on the F1 grid will be handicapped more than their lighter and smaller rivals. The minimum weight of F1 cars for 2018 has been increased by 6kg to accommodate the Halo but the Williams boss believes the step up in weight isn’t enough to ensure a fair application for all drivers.

“The weight limit was put up but not by the amount that it has impacted so I think that’s why it’ll be a challenge to all the teams,” Lowe said.

Despite Lowe’s concerns, the weight issue isn’t feared to be a particularly tough challenge for Williams and its drivers for 2018. The already-confirmed Lance Stroll is thought to be in the average weight of F1 drivers while prime candidates to be the Canadian’s team-mate Sergey Sirotkin and Robert di Resta also won’t have any weight worries. Williams confirmed a final decision on its 2018 driver line-up won't be made until the new year.

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