Formula 1 is a bit of a fickle racing series. It seems that opinions and steps forward sometimes do not get universally put through, even if it’s for the greater good. This new is exactly that and seems like a step backwards for the series.
Last year F1 tested a few different designs for head protection in the cockpits of the cars. Given the last few years has seen some tragic head trauma related deaths, including that of Jules Bianchi, Formula 1 has been testing options in a effort to make the series safer. About a year ago we heard some drivers talking about the halo system and how it could be a great addition for safety purposes.
The consensus was that the halo, while a bit obstructive, was a good addition. And here’s a Semi-POV view of Lewis Hamilton testing it in Singapore.
Now it seems the drivers have done a 180 and said that the halo is no good.
[button color=”orange” size=”medium” link=”https://www.shiftinglanes.com/2016/07/bernie-ecclestone-thinks-head-protection-wont-make-f1-any-safer/” icon=”” target=”false”]Bernie Ecclestone Thinks Head Protection Won’t Make F1 Any Safer[/button]
Will the Formula One head protection system dubbed the Halo ever be approved? The FIA had already shelved the device despite originally wanting to introduce it this year, and now a poll with drivers is casting further doubt on the future of the safety feature.
FIA contacted 22 F1 drivers on January 10, asking for their views the Halo. Out of the 16 drivers answering to the poll by February, seven voted against the Halo, five favored it and four produced a neutral vote. This means the Halo might not arrive for 2018, either.
But why the turn around? It seemed like last year we’d be seeing the halo or another such device in Formula 1 next season. Well as it turns out, the halo has had some issues. Again, from Autoblog:
Rain tests have been problematic, and a laboratory run with the Aeroscreen caused severe damage to a dummy’s head as a wheel was fired toward it – a situation for which the Halo has been tailored. And as the handlebar-style Halo is a relatively simple structure, it wouldn’t cause rain visibility problems. However, the center support directly ahead of the driver could require time for adoption.
So it seems the halo is out for the time being, leaving the door wide open for a windscreen like device that was developed by Red Bull and might make it’s debut in the IndyCar series very soon.