Trust FIA’s decision on Halo and Aeroscreen – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says the FIA should be trusted to select the best of the two proposed cockpit protection designs.

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Yesterday Red Bull showed off their potential solution for improved cockpit safety. Are those against such improvements on the wrong side of history?

I’ve always wondered how people in the past opposed safety changes that are viewed as commonplace today. I’ve heard anecdotal stories about how there was opposition to helmets, etc… back in the day. But it’s even more interesting to see modern Luddites out in force today.

Putting protection in front of a driver’s face isn’t some disaster that’ll ruin the ‘essence’ of F1, people are just throwing out lazy arguments because they’re scared of change with no logical argument to back it up.

Personally I hope it gets ratified for 2017.

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Keith Collantine
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30 comments on “Trust FIA’s decision on Halo and Aeroscreen – Alonso”

  1. Trust FIA


    1. @kingshark on safety, I’d rather say yes. They’ve done the right things since Senna.

      I don’t think there’s a competitive advantage anywhere here, so teams can agree on all terms and conditions because it’s not a political war, it’s a safety issue.

      1. Not sure about that. They did everything right when Sid was around, it’s been difficult since.

        1. @faulty how?

          Of the top of my head, they reacted quickly to Bianchi’s accident by introducing the virtual SC after quite a bit of testing and they’ve been taking their time to fully explore options for this sort of head protection, trying 2 concepts in testing.

          Seems pretty good to me.

          1. There’s been a lot of minor incidents.
            Track invasions, vehicles near a live track (Bianchi’s caterpillar wasn’t the first or last one), the medical commission has been called out on its outdated driver extrication protocols, et cetera.

  2. I can’t see why people are up in arms about the FIA improving safety. It doesn’t have to look good. It’s just got to do the job in protecting the driver of the car. The FIA are obviously looking into methods of head protection and Ferrari and Red Bull have shown us 2 potential designs and a lot of people including some of the drivers vehemently disagree with the direction this is going. If it improves safety in the sport then why are we arguing?

    1. Because it’s the first time in a very, very long time that this safety implication has changed the ‘DNA’ of the sport (and i’m not a fan of that term, but you get me).

      It completely changes the foundation of what a Formula 1 car is.

      It’s definitely the most controversial safety addition I can remember, and could potentially turn people off of the sport. This does not mean people are ‘bloodthirsty’, but the danger is most definitely a part of what Formula 1 is.

      Would people find F1 as entertaining if the drivers were driving simulators to keep them safe? Extreme example, I know, but I think you get the point i’m trying to make.

      I know that i’d feel a lot more confident and safer in driving an F1 car if I knew I was cocooned in, which is all well and good, but it ultimately sounds like i’m now talking about a road car, which isn’t really the point, is it?

    2. Let’s start adding screens and halos and extra safety to those poor motogp riders. One of them might get hurt!

  3. Waiting for a Russian or Chinese guy to buy some French circuit (but must it be Magny-cours?)

    1. Hopefully it’s the Charade circuit just outside Clermont-Ferrand (the 2.5 mile shortened version that exists now).

  4. Oh and tomorrow is the XXth anniversary of Senna’s 1994 Imola crash.

  5. Hamilton says “You’re just sliding, it’s like driving on ice, it’s crazy.” I’d pay good money to see him try his hand at the Trophée Andros! He might change his tune then, but I bet he’d have a blast.

  6. I’d love to get in the ring with LH

  7. Totally agree with the COTD and Alonso regarding improved head protection for drivers. Glad to see F1 moving forward fairly rapidly with progressively better solutions.

  8. Regarding COTD and the halo/aero screen issue; I am sure there was great reluctance to start using safety belts in the 1960’s as it was believed they would prevent a hasty exit from the car in the event of fire. With hindsight that seems to be a ridiculous notion.
    I cannot understand the viewpoint that F1 needs to include danger and that somehow this latest safety feature will somehow render the sport to ‘clean’. I am completely sure there are still a myriad of ways to get injured or die in F1 no matter how many safety developments have been introduced or will be introduced in the near future.
    I concur with a comment I read some weeks ago about how the halo/aero screen is a sort of evolution of the cockpit area. Drivers heads and whole upper body used to be exposed and while this meant it was much easier to see how hard a driver had to work we, the observer, have gotten used the sides of the cockpit being significantly higher than it was 2 or 3 decades ago and with the driver being less visible. I understand that it will be all but impossible to see much of the driver at all if/ when there is a halo or aero screen on the car but surely this can be overcome with the use of lots of inboard camera action and perhaps clearer marking/numbering on the car. To me that is a small inconvenience compared to the possible price of any head injury such a contraption could prevent.

    1. Give up the ‘I’m sure people said the same thing about seat belts’ argument already.
      People (and current F1 drivers) are pushing back because they want to retain the PURIST element. Why not just make this a closed wheel spec-series then? Maybe a pebble could ricochet off a tire and take out an eye! Heaven forbid not every element of F1 get the rubber-bumper treatment.

      1. @johanness, you might be bringing that up purely as a sarcastic note, but that has actually happened in the past – Helmut Marko was blinded in his left eye in the 1972 French GP because a piece of gravel punched through his visor and struck him in the face.

        1. I’m surprised the ‘riot shield’ wasn’t implemented the second that happened. Oh wait… Men actually had a set of proper stones back then. Everyone’s become a cowering bunch of Nancies in this modern age.
          p.s. The only reason FA and JB are so vocally for it are because they’re lacking any other camera time, pace, or relevance to the rest of F1 (IMO).

          1. You forgot Rosberg who is in favor of halo ans leads the championship. @johanness

          2. @x303 Rosberg IS forgetable, so what he says/does is irrelevant to the grand scheme of things IMO

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        30th April 2016, 13:30

        Closed wheels would be better aerodynamically

        1. Nicely done.

  9. You said it, a lot of re-action, sometimes even overreaction. But up to Bianchi they let drivers take double yellows almost as they wished, the VSC could have been there much earlier too, and to be honest the current implementation seems clunky at best.

    1. @glacierre Yeah I absolutely agree. I always wondered why they need to use a virtual safety car as opposed to a full course yellow (WEC/Formula E version, not IndyCar) or code 80 (Creventic), as that seems far more clear-cut…

  10. @ciaran I hope it had been ratified 40 years ago. It does not make much sense although the Luddites actually had a point which has been forgotten.

    When “Formula” cars were coined, their philosophy was to be the best racing cars, a notion that has changed shape as technology caught up with theory. 50 years ago cars had the least bodywork weight possible. For the past 25 years bodywork doesn’t weigh down f1 design, carbon and aero development allows designers to cover the whole of the car. F1 and race car logic would have naturally merged to covered wheels and covered cockpits, but that was to happen at least 20 years ago. Considering that logic and “formula” cars have deviated, I don’t like this half assed solution. I think F1 has feared a merger between road cars and formula cars but that’s just natural, if f1 was to change it would leave them very similar to LMP1 cars, a decent compromise would be that GT redbull car. My proposition is to further reduce the danger of medium to large projectiles. If Indy had the same rules as F1, Justin wouldn’t have died, that said I agree that head protection is the first item on the safety list but no halo or aeroscreen for me, it’s not about danger it’s just that f1 became synonym of open cockpit. F1 or bike racing was never about danger no one wants to see anyone die, it’s the risk of failure, it’s the drama, cars with no downforce were edgy races were unpredictable, that is gone but it’s still there on bike racing, you can always lose a race with a little slip, any corner can mean the end of the race, you push as much as you dare and the risk is 0 points, it’s not that it hurts, we don’t love to watch people die or get hurt get that thwarted notion of danger out of f1.

  11. Michael Brown (@)
    30th April 2016, 13:32

    Why is there a desire for mortal danger? Is having the fastest racing cars in the world not dangerous enough?

  12. “That aeroscreen is another abomination, as is the halo. F1 is for single-seat open-wheel racing cars. No point to it if it’s not dangerous”

    Being dangerous also means drivers getting hurt and getting killed. It is quite simple question really. If you want danger you want death and injuries as well. Because that’s the danger here. The halo or the aeroscreen is only supposed to prevent drivers getting hurt. It just boggles my mind there are people who find it more important to guarantee drivers die and get hurt instead of guarantee safety.

    Let’s not have seatbelts, hans device or head side protection. Having a driver or two killed and couple more seriously injured every couple of years surely brings back the danger aspect…

  13. Like most arguments, we always see it very black and white – you have one person on one side, and one on the other. A right, and a wrong.

    Just because people might not necessarily want the head protection, it does NOT mean they ‘want deaths’. I’m tired of being accused of wanting to see deaths. I have witnessed one or two and they were awful, but let’s not forget:

    This is their occupation. This is their dream. NO ONE has forced them to sign up to F1. They absolutely knew what a Formula One car looked like when they put pen to paper.

    How many firefighters do you see signing up to the job, then complaining “it’s really dangerous, actually!”. You absolutely know what you’re signing up to.

    If your opinion changes, that’s fine. Again, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Chances are you could pick up a Le Mans drive, or sportscar drive elsewhere where your head is completely enclosed!

    And people using the seatbelt argument… A seatbelt did not change anything fundamental about F1 racing. Cocooning drivers does. F1 is open wheel, open top racing.

    1. You know that the safety of firefighters is improved every year.
      To use you analogy: we won’t develop new way (no pun intended) to protect our firefighetrs because it would render the job too safe. The kids know what they sign for. So let them die even if we have the technology to prevent it.
      That’s not what you meant? But that’s what your analogy said… @ecwdanselby

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