New version of Halo seen on Ferrari

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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The revised version of the Halo head protection device has appeared at the Red Bull Ring fitted to one of Ferrari’s cars.

The team is to conduct tests using the latest version of the structure tomorrow. The previous version can be seen below for comparison.

Halo has emerged as the FIA’s preferred choice for improving drivers’ head protection in Formula One from next season. It was chosen over a rival design, the Aeroscreen, which was developed by Red Bull and tested during practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Ferrari ran the first Halo prototype on its cars during testing at the Circuit de Catalunya prior to the start of the season.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

2016 Austrian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    74 comments on “New version of Halo seen on Ferrari”

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      30th June 2016, 19:00

      I didn’t think they could make it any uglier than it was. Boy was I wrong.

      1. @braketurnaccelerate I don’t think it looks very much different to the original one, besides being slightly slimmer which seems an improvement. I don’t see how it is worse?

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          30th June 2016, 19:24

          @keithcollantine – It’s not a drastic change; however to my eyes, it does look aesthetically less pleasing. The slimmed down center strut makes everything look like it’s much taller than the previous version, even if it’s really not. It doesn’t seem to flow quite as well, either.

          1. … Should they make it thicker?

            As far as I am concerned, the smallest they can make it while still meeting the required protection would be ideal no?

        2. It is like 2,3x less bulky in front and upper part. Not a bad way to do things.

          The giant ring around it, is still bulky steel bar. Any chance they make it out of carbon fibre?

        3. The above picture is the new one with thicker bars? Still no protection from debries at all.
          No this isn’t a protection where F1 should move to. The RB idea is a much beter one windscreens were always part of F1 in the past (ok they were much smaller but did their part)

          1. Warren Stilwell
            2nd July 2016, 0:51

            MacLeod, I can’t believe you are about the only comment that makes sense regarding debris. Massa was hit by a spring. The guy in Indycar at Pocono was hit by a nosecone. It seems like a side impact where another car’s nose-cone rides up is just as likely to be redirected by the HALO into the driver head as much as going over it. Any of these pointy-ended, debris scenarios or suspension-intrusion into that area, it seems just as likely to direct it dangerously downward, perhaps even using the HALO bar to twist or jam it in a bad direction. I think this is insane.

        4. @keithcollantine – sorry, but this represents a sickening new low in F1 history.

          1. It sure is.

            See N Lauda and N Roebuck in MS.

            Driving in 100% safe cars that even I could drive, 7 or 8 seconds off the pace with run off areas the size of our local Tesco car park with the circuit delineated by white lines – unless you’re a friendly bloodthirsty communist dictatorship with a billion dollars to spare.

            Wow, what’s not to like? You can still see a tiny little bit of the driver’s helmet and, if the cars pass near enough, hear him talking on the radio.

            This contraption will be introduced in 2017 and I will be unintroduced to the sport after 50 years…

    2. This is not Formula 1! Ugly.

      1. Wonderbadger
        30th June 2016, 20:27

        This seems to be a strange response. I wasn’t aware that F1 was a beauty pageant, yes over the years there have been some stunning looking cars, but to say it’s not formula 1 because it’s ugly makes no sense. If F1 was about beauty it would have many pages in the rule book akin to a concourse d’elegance competition. At the end of the day, F1 is about translating the rules into the most functional design possible. If this halo serves the function to potentially save lives then why are people against it? The red bull aero screen may look nicer in some people’s eyes but in tests doesn’t seem to offer as much protection, should a pretty solution be chosen over one that works better?

        1. Formula 1 has always been open-cockpit, and the halo and aeroscreen are going against this tradition in my opinion. Aesthetics matter in the sport, as many people comment about the aesthetics of F1 cars, whether they are ugly or pretty. It is also argued that danger is an important element in the sport, and devices such as the halo take away the thrill and the adrenaline rush of driving a F1 car to a extent as some may feel that F1 is getting too safe.

          1. It’s just not F1 unless the drivers have a well founded fear of being hit to the head by heavy objects. Right?

            “Too safe”
            I don’t want to watch another driver have a fatal accident. There thrill and adrenaline of driving a car at 330km/h comes from the speed, the difficulty and the competition. Not from the risk of fatal injuries.

            1. Looks like crap to me. End of story.

            2. So put them in armored M1 tanks and fill the cockpit with flame-proof polyurethane after they are buckled in with a six point harness and HANS device. Then let them race.
              I can guarantee you there will be no injuries, never mind fatalities.

              Sounds like that’s the way we have to go, no?

          2. Open cockpit ? You know they had windscreens for a long time in the past?

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          1st July 2016, 8:50

          Aesthetics are a big part of F1 for me – even more so when the competition and racing is terrible. Again, even mooooore so since my lawnmower sounds better.

    3. As this is a standardised part how about mandating a big driver number in the central triangle. Surely better that than random sponsors?

      1. That is a great idea! I’d love to see more easily seen driver numbers.

      2. pastaman (@)
        30th June 2016, 20:22


      3. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        1st July 2016, 5:30


        Maybe the paint job for the halo could be based on, or inspired by, the driver’s helmet design. Looks better and makes it easier to distinguish between the drivers. Even easier than it is now.

      4. petebaldwin (@)
        1st July 2016, 8:51

        Yeah good call.

    4. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth

    5. The smaller triangle section coupled with the thicker halo really look good. At least compared to the previous example I really prefer this one at first glance. It looks much less like a bikini bottom.

    6. Makes more sense for protection as opposed to the usage of DRS to create false opportunity to pass. One system helps protect drivers the other system helps create phony driving skills.

    7. I definitely wasn’t a fan of the first version, and I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s aesthetically pleasing now, but I do think the proportions of halo 2 are nicer.

      The concave shape of the central section (when viewed from the side) is the most visually displeasing element from my point of view, but I’m sure it’s built like that for a reason and if it’ll help save lives then that’s ultimately what matters.

      In a perfect world, and since we’re set on getting some form of additional head protection from 2017, I wish the final concept had an overall shape closer to that of the aeroscreen… without the screen.

    8. In the words of former German finance minister Reinhardt: “I don’t like it, but I’ll have to go along with it.”

      1. Ich kanne nitchen lichten!

      2. Or in other words, “Get me a taxi I’m late for my plane.”

      3. That is a good qoute.

    9. I could get used to that, but I’d rather have an improved Red Bull style canopy. The more I think about it, the wronger it feels to block a part of the drivers’ vision.

    10. It’s reported that it took 10 minutes to extract the driver in a mock medical evacuation with the Halo fitted…that’s not good –

      1. Big news. Thanks for that.

      2. Luke Harrison
        30th June 2016, 20:40

        Compared to how long in a normal medical extraction? The article leaves that bit out

        Because, we’re talking about an a driving being extracted (which i assume is removing a driver while he’s still in his seat), Not a driver getting out… under a normal circumstance this could take just as long.

        I don’t see the point of even including it in the article if it’s not making a comparison.

        1. I don’t think that there is a minimum extraction time in the regulations, in part because it could have unwelcome negative side effects if applied inappropriately.

          The medical team has to balance up the objective of providing rapid medical intervention against the risk that they could cause further injuries by trying to extract a driver too quickly from a vehicle (for example, if the driver had a neck or back injury, trying to hastily move them without having first provided them with adequate back or neck support could aggravate any injuries they have received).

          In those circumstances, putting a minimum extraction time could have a negative effect – it might result in the medical team rushing to hit that arbitrary deadline, thereby causing further injuries because of their haste.

          1. @anon Exactly. You describe exactly why I have always pictured and opined one of the biggest tests a device has to pass as being access to the driver. Does even the RBR aero screen provide enough, let alone a canopy that some still think could be employed ‘easily’ with a little more R&D?

            I’m fine with the halo as there is beauty in it’s function, it’s truly ‘easy’ and relatively unobtrusive to the aero and therefore to the design of the cars. I question the amount of change (read money) the aero screen will make wrt it’s affect on airflow behind it, and what would have to be rethought design wise. Do they want to go there? The halo is ‘see-through’. And allows access. Has, imho, the potential to deal with the vast majority of the most concerning events very well…without question a worthy addition to safety, agree with the aesthetics or not. Added safety cannot be questioned here. Perfection will never be achieved. It hasn’t been, even on fighter jets.

            Now the cars just need to get a lot harder to drive. Much more taxing on the drivers physically and mentally.

          2. Luke Harrison
            1st July 2016, 18:59

            I’m sure you weren’t disagreeing, but just so we were sure.

            I was commenting on the lack of further information in that Article.

            The article in my opinion is trying to bias people’s attitude against the device by stating it took 10 minutes to extract a driver. It doesn’t state how long it should take under usual circumstances. If anytime is listed at all.

            I understand your argument and agree with your reasoning, but i think the addition of the time in the article is unrequired.

            As for the person below that said “don’t show Alonso” the article. People need to stop using his crash as a reason why the Halo is a bad idea. There was no immediate risk to his health and he was not required to leave the car. He stated he did this so everyone knew he was alright immediately. It was *his” choice.

      3. Don’t show Alonso that article

        1. Luke Harrison
          1st July 2016, 23:16

          Why not? if you refer to Australia, he was in no immediate danger. His car was not on fire. There was no reason for him to extricate himself from his vehicle. He chose to though because i wanted to illeviate any immediate fears his mother may have had.

    11. I’m an F1 older timer and while my initial reaction to the halo was negative, I’ve given it more thought:

      In the current F1 cars, with the low driver position and the surrounding bodywork and protection and the fully encasing helmet, you can’t see their eyes and more often than not you can barely tell which way they’re looking. Given that, I don’t think the halo design is really going to make that much of a difference. While I’m not happy with the look, I’m sure I’ll get used to it rather quickly. Having been following F1 since 1962, I’ve seen enough fatalities to last a lifetime and if the halo can save one serious injury or death, it’s more than worth it, IMO

      1. Exactly, even 1 life saved makes it worth it.

        1. A dumb comment, no offense, because the way to ensure you are saving every life is to not let them race in the first place.

          1. Yaay. Let’s let them race without seatbelts, helmets, Hans devices, side impact protections, wheel tethers and crumble zones. Because none of those were around when f1 began and hence is against the “DNA” of f1. Whatever the hell that means.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            1st July 2016, 8:56

            Could just limit them to 30mph. Also, they should remove the hybrid systems so no-one gets an electric shock. Baku and Monaco are too dangerous. Pit stops should be a minimum of 10s to ensure all tyres are safely secured.

            Even if 1 life is saved, it’s worth it.

      2. Kenny, I totally agree and have been watching F1 almost as long, since 1965.

        The callous disregard by some F1 “fans” for driver safety based on the danger factor or the even more elusive DNA of F1 is perplexing. F1 cars don’t look at all now like they did 50, 40, 30, 20 years ago or even fewer years ago than that. This is regardless of open cockpit or not. It is a constant evolution and always has been. That is the DNA of F1. The inherent danger factor of other people driving 300kph+ in close quarters with 20 or so other competitors on the confines of the same track is not enough danger for some “fans”. They seem to desire that people other than themselves also have the additional danger of being struck directly on their helmeted head by large objects that may kill them. Sorry, but I do not understand or agree with that mentality.

        Like you, I have seen too much death and destruction in my life watching auto racing and want to see no more fatalities. Motorsport is inherently dangerous and always will be. No matter how safe it is, there is always a risk. It is hard to imagine wanting to make it, or leave it, more dangerous to life and limb of the participants just to please some of the spectators.

    12. what about visibility? eau rouge with that halo… or debris hitting the halo and directing stuff towards pilots chest?

    13. So, not just Tom Jones with knickers in his face.

    14. Looks really cool. Would have saved Jules too. Won’t stop thick marshalls and race direction parking a tractor by the circuit though.

      1. No it wouldn’t have saved Jules. Henry Surtees and Justin Wilson, absolutely. Might even have saved Dan Wheldon. But not Jules. His injuries were not blunt force trauma…the brain injuries were sustained due to the massive deceleration he suffered. He was subjected to 254g of deceleration…the human body simply cannot survive that, especially the force of the brain striking the inside of the skull. It was a miracle he fought on as long as he did.

    15. Has it actually been tested? Like have a wheel blasted at it at 100mph? Looks incredibly fragile. People think, oh its carbon fibre must be strong but while carbon fibre is strong, if the modulus is too high it is extremely brittle. Lower modulus fibre can bend and absorb shocks but you need a lot more of it.

      Hopefully there is some kevlar inside the layup to prevent a wheel demolishing and hitting the drivers head with what appears to be a very flimsy structure.

      Be nice if Ferrari and Red Bull actually did some destructive testing on their samples instead of running a beauty contest.

      1. The Halo is not made of carbon fiber. They are metal with carbon fiber wrapped around them. I can’t remember off the top of my head of it is steel or titanium but I am 100% sure they are not made of carbon fiber.
        As for tests, the FIA first started blasting wheels and tires at early forms of the Halo a few years ago and have been testing prototypes all season! There is no way they would even consider it without any tests being donew.

        1. Titanium is the wrong sort of metal in that situation. Again too brittle. Steel would be too heavy and why clad it in carbon fibre? To look pretty? The test on prototype Halos were made from what looks about 45mm steel tube. Interesting the angles were much shallower (ie the front mount was much further forward) and the halo height higher on the steel prototypes then what Ferrari has at present. The test conducted were head on only no side intrusion.

          I think the ferrari prototype is for visual purposes only (can the driver see past it) as the mounting points look incredibly light compared with the test prototype in the pictures in the linked web site.

          Mounting structure on the chassis is going to have to be robust, not just some carbon plates screwed onto the chassis as ferrari has presently.

          1. “steel would be too heavy”.
            What? You know that F1 cars aren’t the lightest cars that they could be, right?

            For every kilo added due to a steel halo, the weight will just be removed from somewhere else.
            Today’s F1 cars do have over 100kg of metal plate ballast in them.

      2. No of course they haven’t tested it. They’re high school kids of course they didn’t have any sense to test their structure.

        Your comment sounds so ridiculous

        I’m sure their research abd development led them to test all sorts of materials and they found their current one to be the best for all circumstances

        1. Yep, ridiculous. Test the halo constructed from Chrome Moly Tubing and anchored to alloy mounts that would hold a London bus. Then make one from carbon fibre and expect the same test result? Have they done the destructive testing on the carbon one? Do you have a link to the research?

          The total answer is the full canopy as used by Top Fuel Dragsters.

          Making F1 cars look like this.


    16. At fist I wasn’t a fan as looking at the halo device and seeing the fatalities we’ve had in recent years I think it would have partially protected some but not others. At least this gives the driver something extra protection in certain incidents, so its ugly but if its makes the sport safer then it has to arrive and I bet we get used to it very quickly.

    17. Superman wore it outside his pants got it right, Formula one probably not !

    18. Christopher Aoun
      30th June 2016, 23:16

      What bugs me the most about the halo system, is not the aesthetics or taking away “traditional” single seater racing, but stressing to everyone the importance about safety over visuals, by making a half attempt for safety, that has A LOT of flaws as it is.

      Its insulting.

      Sure, “get over it, traditionalists”, I get that statement. But don’t go half-hearted. It’s horrible. Cover the drivers up. Make a bold stand for safety. But its too late now because time is running out, but they could have gone for it. In result, the cars would have looked fine, different of course, but completely fine.

      The halo design reflects the execution of the idea, awkward and half-hearted and not solved.

      1. Absolutely! Well said.

      2. It could be thought of more as a progression, or evolution if you will. The halo can provide more head protection now than is currently available, while the more difficult to implement screen is properly developed.

    19. I hate it.

      Let’s just refine the aeroscreen and introduce it when it’s ready. The halo looks like a step backwards.

    20. Here’s an idea that will make F1 much safer. Use the F1 hybrid power unit systems in a NASCAR COT chassis.
      This will guarantee a much safer formula, far safer than the proposed halo or aero screen.
      Here’s my question for all of the holier-than-though fans who dismiss the concepts of F1 DNA, open cockpit tradition, “danger”, etc., and who follow the maxim “if it saves one life then it is worth it”: What is your argument against my “idea” given that it is dramatically safer?

      1. Now you’re just being silly.

        I have a question for you though. What is wrong with wanting to have more head protection for F1 drivers? How does it ruin the sport for you as a spectator/fan? Is it because there would be less possibility of a driver being injured or killed? Not trying to be rude, I really would like to know.

        I’ve been watching F1 and IndyCar for over 50 years and was never attracted to the sport based on the possibility of a driver being struck on the head and killed. If that makes me a “holier than thou fan”, then so be it I guess. I didn’t feel too holy watching Justin Wilson being struck on the head during a race and losing his life last year. There is technology available to help prevent this kind of incident. To me that is part of racing innovation that is just as important as going faster.

        1. Well. Here’s a view from another F1fanatic.
          Love of a sport comes from many factors.
          For me, It’s a combination of 1.Technology, 2.Racecraft/Skill, 3.Aesthetics, 4.Risk/Danger (Heroism)
          Currently I believe the balance is close to ideal, though I do prefer tracks with no runoff and greater consequences for mistakes.
          I liken it to watching a tightrope walker. Imagine watching one who was walking between two buildings 500ft without a saftey net.
          If he completes the task without dying…. I admire him more than the same person who walks a tightrope with no safety net, suspended 6 feet off the ground. It’s the fact that he achieved something requiring skill and focus in a dangerous environment…YET DIDN’T DIE. I didn’t want him to die…. I watched because there was risk… and that thrilled me. I think that in this day and age, that thrill from someone being in a dangerous environment is something that the “sissy brigade” like to shout down and vilify. The people who support halo… are the type of people who want to ban the first guy from attempting to walk between the two buildings. They are the kind of people who mandate the safety net. The guy should be allowed to walk without the safety if he so chooses.
          The Halo (for me) is that “1 step too far” away from what I consider Formula 1.. and “1 step too ugly” for what I consider Formula 1. If that makes me a bad person in the eyes of the sissy brigade, so be it. I don’t really care for opinions of others.
          Nicly Lauda and Lewis are right on this subject in my opinion.

          1. @drone – I don’t know anything about “sissy brigades”, tightrope walking or banning anyone from anything just because I might support better head protection for F1 drivers.

            Believe it or not I do understand how fans feel about open cockpit racing having been a part of F1 and other series for so long. Back in the 1960s when I started watching F1 and saw the movie Grand Prix with all its wonderful in-car footage with the wind rushing by I wanted nothing more than to feel that same rush. I have always appreciated F1 and IndyCar to all other forms of motorsport with that being one of the reasons.

            But, some things have changed. Back in the day it was not just the drivers who were in grave danger on a regular basis, but also the team members, track officials and even fans who sometimes stood right on the live race track. Deaths were not uncommon in those days for those involved, sometimes even just as spectators. I would like to think that some common sense and the human instinct for survival took hold and the powers that be made some changes with safety for all in mind. Maybe that is what you might call the “sissy brigade”.

            Many innovations have come about as a result of racing technology. Aerodynamics, more efficient and powerful engines, and many other improvements including better safety technology and devices. Going faster and all the other improvements including safety go hand in hand. One is as important as another.

            Maybe you feel that all safety measures should be banned and that F1 safety should revert back in every regard to the way it was in the 1950s. No seat belts, helmets, track safety, etc. Trouble is, the cars go much faster than they did then and without the safety improvements that have come along with the speed F1 would be even more lethal than it was then.

            Maybe the question for those against more head protection for drivers is how much safety is too much safety? How does one answer that? Who decides?

            I don’t mind discussing it in a logical manner without accusations and name calling.

            1. It’s just easier for me to stop watching (due to no longer being attracted to the sport) than try to change the way the world is going. How safe is too safe? Well, as I stated… I thought they had it right in 2012. That makes anything extra since then too safe. That’s my opinion though. Just as it’s ny opinion that people who think otherwise are sissies. Too bad to those who take offense… Those sorts of people are often also sissies. I’m sure there are people who consider me a sissy. Obviously, part of me hopes that people see Halo and vote with their feet. That would be great. (for me obviously)
              I’m not really into discussion. Just have my opinion.

          2. The tightrope walker analogy is interesting – but flawed.

            Your tightrope walker avoids the danger of the 500 foot drop because of his skill and dedication to practising his art. The problem that the halo / aeroscreen is intended to address is wheel-sized debris bouncing into the path of a speeding car. The driver of that car has no control over the circumstances that create the danger (usually someone else’s crash), and no amount of skill or practice would allow the driver to avoid colliding with the debris unless he is extremely lucky.

            The tightrope walker is in charge of his destiny on the rope: the race driver in an open cockpit car is a hostage to fortune.

            1. No. The race driver knows about those risks before he participates. The same way a tight rope walker may get a sudden gust of wind. I know of MANY junior drivers who would be happy to participate in F1 without Halo. I competed in open wheelers without a Halo and quite frankly I don’t want one. It detracts from the experience and sorry…. Open wheelers are suppised to be open cockpit. What are we going to do next? Make halo compulsory in every open wheel category? Retrofit them to historic open wheel classes that still race. If you want to race closed cockpit race cars… go do it. There’s plenty out there. Leave things alone FFS.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        1st July 2016, 9:00

        As I said above, “if it saves one life then it is worth it” can be applied to everything so it’s a useless argument. Banning motorsport will save money lives than the halo – 100% guaranteed.

        1. I do not consider the halo the equivalent of lowering the tightrope to 6 feet from the ground, nor such a safety net that I forget how fast they’re driving. I get the analogy to a tightrope walker but also think it is unfair. There are really only two options with that activity, safety net and vastly less risk if any, or no safety net and huge risk. That simply has to be and indeed is the way it is. Not so in racing.

          But I do think F1 is already safe enough even without the halo that the cars should be faster and more taxing on the drivers physically and mentally. Does that neutralize my sissydom?

          1. It doesn’t matter what I think… It matters what you think. You don’t answer to me.

            It’s 1 step too far for ME. Not anyone else. The Halo is the single ingredient thats spoils the cake for ME. It’s pretty simple.

            As I’ve mentioned before, If you quantify each ingredient you get a recipe that works for you. The Halo with its effects on the “Aesthetics “and “Danger” ingredients is what pushes into the zone of “No longer interested” for me.

            Even if you made the cars faster… unfortunately it wouldn’t be enough to sway me back. If I really think about it… I was happy with safety even in the days of the 2005 V10s, so really… Today’s cars are a little soft to be honest.

            Everythings got a little too precious.

    21. Open cockpit racing has risks and Formula 1 drivers are risk takers. Having said that, it would be great if the Halo is introduced at some stage. It serves a very important purpose of safety. But it shouldn’t be black and teams should be at least allowed to put some interesting colour combinations on them. A fan wish: the surface area could be used as a display (team logo, grid position, top speed, sponsors etc)!

    22. I don’t mind this. The only thing I want is that the drivers head is still clearly visible, and they managed to do that.

    23. When was the last death or life changing injury in F1 where this Halo would have helped?

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