Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits he would remove Formula 1’s Halo with a chainsaw if given the chance, adding he is “not impressed” with the controversial cockpit protection device.

Following the announcement of its mandatory introduction on all F1 cars for 2018, fans, drivers and team members alike have expressed displeasure regarding its aesthetics. 

Technical chiefs have also revealed the extent of the challenge of integrating the system, with Mercedes technical director James Allison recently saying the team’s W09 needed strengthening to the point where it could withstand the weight of a London double decker bus. 

“I’m not impressed with the whole thing,” Wolff said at the team’s launch of it’s 2018 challenger at Silverstone. “If you give me a chainsaw I would take it off. I think we need to look after the driver’s safety but what we have implemented is aesthetically not appealing. 

“We need to come up with a solution that simply looks better. It’s a massive weight on the top of the car, you screw up the centre of gravity massively.  As much as it’s impressive to look at the statistic that you could put a bus on top, this is a Formula 1 car.”

The FIA has rigorously tested the Halo system over the past few years to ensure the device will keep drivers safer, not only from the possibility of flying debris, but also with regards to impact accidents as well as driver extraction.

While Wolff was critical of the looks of the Halo, he believes the system cannot be flawed in terms of improving safety.

“The FIA has very thoroughly conducted all kinds of tests and possible scenarios and overall, the Halo makes it much more safer for the driver. Whether there are scenarios where a driver is trapped, probably these scenarios do exist, but overall it is safer with the Halo than without the Halo.”