FIA defend Halo as 'best solution'

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 23, 2017

It is understood the majority of teams in the Strategy Group meeting voted against the introduction of Halo next season but the FIA forced through the device on safety grounds.

The FIA has released a detailed statement outlining the testing procedure behind the Halo and why the cockpit protection device has been made mandatory in Formula 1 from the 2018 season. Most vocal of all was Niki Lauda, former three-time Formula 1 world champion and now Mercedes' non-executive director. Centring on three significant major risk types, car-to-car contact, car-to-environment contact and external objects, tests revealed that in the case of car-to-car incidents the Halo was able to withstand 15x the static load of the full mass of the auto and was able to significantly reduce the potential for injuries.

The governing FIA announced on Wednesday that the halo would be introduced for 2018 rather than the transparent "shield" tested at Silverstone last week.

As for the decision to go with Halo over the Shield, which was given a one-lap run by Sebastian Vettel during first practice for the British GP, the FIA revealed that "feedback from this test concerned a number of limitations around such a system".

Formula 1 has embarked on a change of regulations in a bid to make the sport more spectacular again for the fans.

"We are just trying hard to get new fans for the sport with fast cars and getting closer to the spectators", Lauda said.

Lauda claims Formula 1 is exceptionally safe and thinks the best decision is wait for a better solution instead of imposing a concept that isn't supported.

The FIA felt that reverting back to the halo was the best option, especially considering that the sport needs more time to make some modifications to it.

Lauda, who almost lost his life in the 1976 German Grand Prix, is also concerned about how the decision will affect Liberty Media's quest to bring new fans into the sport.

Cockpit protection has become a priority since the deaths of drivers in other series after being hit by wheels and flying debris.

Austrian Alex Wurz, chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), agreed the halo was not good looking but defended the decision. "Otherwise we would not have tried three ideas".

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