Opinion on the halo cockpit protection device is split 50/50 between F1 drivers, according to the FIA.
The halo device was due to be introduced this year but was delayed to 2018 to allow for further testing. However whilst many appreciate the need for improved head protection in single-seaters there’s still some debate over whether or not the halo is the right solution.
Last year GPDA chairman Alex Wurz claimed support for its introduction was unanimous, but a request made by the FIA in January to gauge driver opinion seems to suggest that the feeling has changed.
Of the 22 drivers asked 16 have responded, revealing a 50/50 split on whether or not they want it. An FIA spokesman said “some are clearly against, some clearly in favour and some are sitting on the fence.”
Some of the issues brought up by the drivers include poor visibility and a worry over how it would affect them if they had to get out of the car in a hurry.
Another problem that was raised was that of how it looks. Obviously safety should have nothing to do with aesthetics but let’s be honest, the halo device does look hideous, and it’s important for fans that the end product shouldn’t detract from the iconic appearance of single-seaters. The FIA realise the need for that and are apparently working towards a better looking solution, but how they can stop it from looking like a flip-flop is anyone’s guess.
The device is still scheduled for introduction in 2018, but it seems there’s still a lot of work to do before everyone’s needs are satisfied. Good luck with that, FIA!