Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Silverstone test, 2016

Opposition grows to introduction of Halo

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In the round-up: Two teams are unhappy with plans to introduce the ‘halo’ next year.

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Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2016
Two of the last five races have started like this
Start a wet race behind the Safety Car or wait for conditions to improve enough that a standing start is possible? Tata has a clear preference:

The drama of racing on wet track albeit after a few laps behind a Safety Car is a welcome thing in F1 racing. Waiting for the track to dry just so there is a standing start makes no sense and robs fans of the spectacle of watching so-called world #1 drivers display their skills on a wet track.

Sundays also are days that are full of sporting and family events so for some to have to be robbed of some of those events due to a delayed F1 race is not good for the sport. Eventually, people might have to choose which of those options is better for them and I doubt F1 will be the first option.

Teams, engineers, drivers and all F1 personnel also have to make arrangements to start getting back home or leave the venue for the next. Every extra minute they spend on a given track every given race day counts and sometimes take them further away from their families who they hardly see by the way. No need delaying even further.

Rolling starts behind a Safety Car is wholly acceptable. Whichever way it is looked at, it is a perfect decision and that is something to say considering the track record of the sport authorities in decision making.
Tata

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  • 109 comments on “Opposition grows to introduction of Halo”

    1. Here’s a wild idea – how about a double file rolling start when starting behind the safety car? Not for every safety car period – I just mean for the initial race start. Has the drama of a real start ding start but without the risk of unseeable stalled cads.

      1. Last word was supposed to be “cars”, obviously

      2. And “start ding start” is “standing start”… Bloody auto correct!

      3. Hmmm! a multiple ding start involving a couple of cads, sounds exactly like Bernies wish list.

        But seriously folks, with the $millions involved in staging an F1 race it should not be too difficult to find a better, quicker way of removing standing water from the track than having the cars drive around throwing it up in the air and hoping it doesn’t fall straight back down on the track.

        1. One would have expected them to at least copy the Nascar Air Titan system where they use compressed air and dryer to push the water off and dry the track at the same time. In F1, 2 trucks running side by side with the mechanism coupled can do the work on F1 tracks within a short period of time.

          And thanks to @keithcollantine for the COTD:)

          1. The business case for F1 having its own Air Titan would be much harder to make than for NASCAR because there would be far fewer occasions when it might be needed. NASCAR only runs in the dry and it has 15 more races per year than F1. And I suspect NASCAR can send much of its freight by road rather than air making it cheaper (correct me if I’m wrong).

            1. Yes it could become very expensive to haul such a system around the world. What if such was purchased and located in regions, one in Asia, Europe and North America, where the cost of relocation based on race events will be easier to deal with?
              I suspect it will still be expensive but in that case F1 can develop its own solution to enable speedy drying of track, a simpler system which could be located at every track they visit.

            2. @keithcollantine
              Aside from the crews, pretty much all freight travels by road. Even the Xfinity races in Mexico City were done with the teams running convoys to the track.

              F1 wouldn’t have to own the titans, the FIA would. They can then lease it out to any of their series as needed. Although, I don’t disagree about the cost-effectiveness about such an idea. Europe wouldn’t be much of a problem, but the Asian countries be an issue.

              However I don’t think it would be too hard to develop a system like that, that would better fit the FIA and F1’s needs.

            3. @keithcollantine, My idea is that the track should either purchase the equipment or hire/lease it from business or local councils, a giant vacunm cleaner mounted on a trailer and a couple giant squeegee blades also designed to be towed behind the recovery vehicles would cost very little of the $30-50million fee to stage a race.

        2. with all the millions that was spent on silverstone it should be about to drain a hell of a lot better. The puddles from a quick shower were pathetic. You wouldn’t get that on a back street road.

          Oh yeah i remember now the millions was spent on the club house… No wonder they get no help to stage it.

      4. Still has the problem of visibility.

      5. Wow…..where did get that idea? Indycar or Nascar? No, no and no thanks.

    2. Former F1 drivers from 70-80s should not have any say on modern Formula 1.
      They did not drive with a computer in front of them.

      1. @dam00r not having a computer in front of them is probably the point they’re making. I think many of us at times wonder if things would be better if the cars were simplified and the drivers had to make all of the decisions themselves….and use a foot clutch….and shift in an H pattern with a stick….and and and.

        1. @velocityboy

          Sacrilege! They would lash you to a stake and burn you alive for saying such things!

          hahaha

          I wouldn’t love anything more than going back to proper 3 pedal setups and H pattern gear boxes. That was real driving skill. However, the best from any era would adapt. With the ability to change settings from corner to corner, Prost in particular would have been brilliant if he were driving in the current era.

        2. Maybe they should also go back to the skinny tyres of years of pre-war grand prix racing, wheels with spokes, drum brakes, and simple suspension systems. Maybe at the same time get rid of those fan-dangled carbon fibre chassis, and go back to aluminium space frames. Maybe even get rid of those wings.

          Or maybe not, because trying to cling onto the past is ridiculous, even more so in Formula 1, where innovation rules.

          1. @formulales, I have to agree that the future of the sport will not come from trying to preserve it in the past. It’s over 20 years since we last had a car with an H-pattern gearbox on the grid, which was the Forti FG01 in 1995, and that car was considered to be an anachronistic joke when it was wheeled out onto the grid.

            @dam00r, slightly forcefully put, but you do have a certain point – it is perhaps something to think about when you consider that John Watson’s career is closer in time to that of Giuseppe Farina, the first ever F1 champion and the last of the pre-WW2 Grand Prix champions, than it is to the present day. People complain about Bernie having an outdated vision of the sport, but Watson isn’t exactly that up to date either.

          2. Tony Mansell
            13th July 2016, 11:25

            Silly argument. You may as well say why don’t they go back to racing Fred Flintstone type cars. Innovation ‘ruins’ F1 – now. Its been a big engine series, its been a tech series, its been an aero rules series. How about it now becomes a race series? It is now more than ever showbiz, well, entertain us.

            1. You really like all the aero that prevent close wheel to wheel action? Why are you complaining then?

      2. What? No navigation system?

        1. @drycrust the irony being that most drivers still have a post-it with a map of the circuit, along with the corner numbers, stuck to the inside of their tub.

    3. The politically correct response is always the easy option, unfortunately any proposal to increase safety will be politically correct but may not be a real advance overall when it limitations are balanced against its potential to adversely affect safety. Let’s hope for a well thought through solution to be devised rather than a rushed solution that merely protects the organisers from accusations of negligence.

      1. … It’d be worth noting similar arguments were made against the now common HANS device. Critics said it would cause more problems than it solved.

        And I don’t think it’s the easy option at all, look at the things, it’d be much easier to just do away with it and pretend it never came up. I think putting safety first is the right way to go, accusations of it being too PC or not. The issue is if F1 doesn’t find a solution to such a clear problem, it opens itself up to risk. And I don’t mean financial, I mean losing another driver. Which frankly is unacceptable.

        1. HANS was thoroughly tested for years, had demonstrable numeric benefit that was shown publically and made compulsory in other series, before F1 adopted it (to the extensive divisions @mike describes). Halo 2 has none of the above, and Halo 1 fails the latter two tests. I am sure something will be added to protect drivers’ heads in the next few years, it may even be a descendent of Halo 1 – but at this point Halo 2 simply hasn’t been tested enough to have any confidence that it won’t make the safety problem worse than using no protection or Halo 1 (let alone constitute an improvement over either). The amount the Halo got lifted makes me think that it will primarily funnel any debris smaller than the gap, thus making the problems from anything smaller than a wheel worse.

          1. @alianora-la-canta Is it worth pointing out how many drivers died while they tested and debated the HANS device?

            1. That was because the designers of HANS knew that if HANS was introduced in haste and caused even one driver’s death, the idea was likely to be binned – along with whatever benefit a correctly-functioning version would bring. I fear Halo encountering exactly that problem.

      2. – Let’s hope for a well thought through solution to be devised rather than a rushed solution.

        This.
        Each time I see that hideously looking piece of black underwear it reminds me of the hurried approach those responsible have taken to the introduction of head protection device for F1 drivers. Where are all those beautiful minds that are F1 designers and engineers? What do they think when they see F1 cars sullied by such monstrosity? Do they really like it?
        What happened to those beautiful concepts of future F1 cars that Mclaren, Redbull, Ferarri and Williams showed the world a few years ago? Shouldn’t the sport be making reasonable efforts in moving the sport towards that direction, in the direction of cars with safety features which bear the hallmark of Formula 1 as a sport and business that is at the cutting edge of technology and which is constantly pushing boundaries?
        There shouldn’t be any hurry in implementing this thing next year. For decades Formula 1 has raced without head coverings. We can wait a few more months. Teams should veto this nonsense, go back to the drawing board and come up with solutions emanating from a holistic approach to the design of F1 cars. If an aspect of the sport’s DNA has to change, ie the cars appearance, it is only reasonable that such change is seen in other areas of the car. And that all the changes, when seen, complete the picture of F1 cars that are transforming for the future.
        Formula 1 should be looking forward not backwards.

        1. Red Bull’s trying, but its Aeroscreen (a modest step towards its future vision of a few years ago) failed the last FIA test it did, which led to Halo 2 getting mandated.

          1. Yes, what Redbull had was a lot more fitting and better looking than the Halo but I suspect it failed because it was a design which came as an addition to what is existing rather than something which is an integral part of an F1 car.

        2. Simple – Cost & Regulation. They can implement a standard part, such as the Halo, relatively cost effectively. The cost of developing it comes from the FIA and everyone runs the same thing, with everyone receiving the same ‘performance hit/benefit’.

          If everyone has to make entirely new radical chassis to fit what is, in effect, a H&S rule a) we’ll likely see the more cash strapped outfits fold and b) several fugly interim misinterpretations, such as Ferrari’s read on the head protection rules in ’96, not to mention the potential competitive changes from fundamental chassis change-ups.

          We don’t think Red Bull didn’t intentionally develop the aero screen with just safety in mind, do we? :)

          1. Personally I’m indifferent and I note that although the headline implies opposition grows, is there really that much opposition? And, there is nothing of substance in the article or quotes that explains why they oppose the halo or what they think the adverse impact is…just ‘it seems rushed’…I’d buy into their opposition more if they had a better idea or would explain what they think could be a problem with a halo in an accident.

            I’m fine (like I/we have a choice in this) with whatever they do, but I do think it has to be a bolt-on solution unless F1 is prepared to chance spending billions and changing the face of F1 as we have known it, and make the cars more like WEC to accommodate something that isn’t bolt-on.

            I also think they have been considering this issue a potential solutions on and off for a long time, so for anyone to say the halo is rushed is something I struggle to believe.

          2. Yes, cost is always a major factor. And in F1, sadly, there are teams who are cash-strapped.
            But with Bernie’s recent comments about tearing up the current revenue distribution agreement and creating a more balanced one would expect some of those team with financial difficulties to implement changes when required.
            I am afraid though, that some of those teams might spend themselves yet again into tight situations while chasing the much bigger teams.
            Teams must learn to spend responsibly within their means. That way we won’t end up with such things as the Halo 2 or whatever it is called just so everyone can afford it.

            1. Even if BE is being sincere that’s not until 2020 I believe. For now I doubt teams are spending irresponsibly.

    4. The halo is not the solution- nor is the RBR windscreen. They should try a see-through fighter-jet style canopy that completely envelops the cockpit.

      1. Fighter jets have explosive ejector seats so as not to trap the pilot, that could have disadvantages on a race car.

        1. As well as the visibility issues. Fighters have lots and lots on instruments and all pilots in all forms of aviation are trained to fly without visuals, you know, like at night.

          It’s totally two different situations.

          1. Safety systems would be almost certainly designed around it to minimize risk.

      2. Making such a windscreen light enough and strong enough for a race car (as opposed to a jet fighter, which can typically use more weight in that area without stopping the plane meeting its purpose) would be very difficult. In fact, it would probably meet more extreme versions of the same problem that’s temporarily mothballed Aeroscreen.

    5. Why a central support on that Halo? Why not two slightly thinner supports either side? This also has the added benefit of not looking like one or more undergarments.

      I know buckling might still be an issue but it’s more the size of the connection to the top ring bit that would benefit. I need to sketch something!

      1. Because drivers don’t really need to see in front of them, at least not so much that the centre-strut is a serious impairment. They don’t really need to see where they’re going on a straight (because it’s a straight) and the halo won’t block a car in front so as to be an actual visual impairment. On the other hand, drivers need to be able to see the apex on turn in, and that’s what gets blocked by side-struts.

        I’m torn on the whole thing. From a pure aesthetics standpoint, I’d love the fighter-jet canopy like on the McLaren MP4-X, but I understand the limitations of that. I’m not in love with the halo, but I think it looks better than the aeroscreen and has a greater potential to look… fine if integrated into the car from the ground up, rather than tacked on as it currently is. I don’t think it’s the best, sure, but as the saying goes, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Just because the halo isn’t the end-all solution doesn’t mean it should be scrapped entirely and no head protection should be introduced until it’s perfected. Maybe it’s a stop-gap, but if F1 needs something right now (admittedly arguable, but an argument for another time), a stop-gap is better than nothing.

        1. How about a stalled car on the grid when the lights go out?

          1. “and the halo won’t block a car in front so as to be an actual visual impairment”

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            13th July 2016, 11:33

            That’s why god gave us 2 eyes; it allows us to ‘see around’ small objects!

            PS Even when closing 1 eye you will see the car in front of you. A 30mm wide halo at 70cm before your eyes can only block an F1 car if more than 10 car lengths ahead when you are perfectly aligned and close 1 eye (12 lengths ahead from 2017)!

        2. I disagree @ogopogo. Firstly, most cars in motorsport have two bars running either side, and also the car I drive around town. I’m not always looking forwards in that, take corners regularly and need to see where I’m going. Anyway, for the reasons that @coldfly states we have two eyes. Secondly, having two bars mean that the strut can be thinner anyway.

          Even if I’m wrong, isn’t it a good idea to trial these things and gain some empirical evidence during testing, not just run with the current concept? It doesn’t at this stage even need to be completely structurally sound, just in principle so that design iterations can occur after receiving feedback from the drivers.

          Poor photoshop skills aside, here is a little mockup of what I mean:
          https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7j_XoWgS949aU1BM1RzajdSb28

          1. That looks quite promising. I like the lines:)

          2. I just don’t get the assumptions that the halo hasn’t been well thought out and trialled and that other solutions have not also been considered and trialled over the last two or three decades.

            @john-h Not taking a shot at you for your photoshop skill, but I think your concept would have to be beefed up quite a bit so if it were, would it still be viable? I have little doubt that umpteen iterations have been sketched and discussed by umpteen engineers over the years.

            1. @robbie we need more than two concepts trialled by drivers if this is to be a standardised component. I’m only responding in light of the Vettel comments that this all needs more thought.

              True story about the size of the supports in my picture though!

            2. @john-h Fair comment. Not trying to put you on trial here. But I do put the likes of Vettel on trial a bit when they say it needs more thought but not why. From the sounds of it there is no visibility issue, so what are their concerns other than appearance? I did like the first halo concept I saw which was from Mercedes and looked really stylish and slick imho. This
              current one I don’t like as much but there needs to be some beauty considered by it’s function too.

              I just generally find comments such as ‘not well thought out’ and ‘rushed’ hard to fathom and an insult to those who are working hard on this issue and have to take all factors into consideration. Cost, appearance, function, safety issues like extracting an unconscious driver, viability in terms of how a device can change the face of F1 to some.

              Personally once they implement this, I want to see along with what would then be ultra safe cars, much higher speeds in much more physically and therefore mentally taxing cars to drive, much more balanced toward mechanical grip so that we have gladiators out there again.

      2. duncan idaho
        13th July 2016, 2:17

        Apparently there’s usually not much of interest to look at down the centreline of the car – vision is concentrated on upcoming corner, braking points offtrack, the apex and then the next corner…

        1. Something closeby directly in front of you is actually not so much of a vision impairment, try it out, you actually look around it.

      3. Because the side supports would have to be in the range drivers usually use to corner, if they are to be of any use, and the central support is also designed to prevent direct head-on collision with objects.

    6. I disagree with COTD. It’s 2016 and technology needs to keep up with the sport. Some kind of high speed vacuum-blower zamboni and we can see well deserved dry/damp standing starts.
      Families don’t want to wait? I’m going to assume a true start outweighs a little extra time. Most people are in in for the long haul anyways (read: not like a hockey game where the corporates exit en masse after 2nd period if their team is down by a a couple goals).

    7. Also, I hope

    8. James Allens puff piece for Shell petroleum is the worst bit of journalism and the most misleading headline I can recall in an era where “poor” is the expected baseline for journalism.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        13th July 2016, 5:07

        “Stop the cock” lol

    9. So with Hamilton smashing the fastest qualy lap record at Silverstone..are we still saying the current cars are slower?

      1. Yes. They only manage those times for one lap, when everything is harvested, with low fuel. They are still 6seconds a lap slower on the race. Besides, the current layout for the British GP has only been used since 2010,so that’s hardly a strong set of benchmarks.

        1. Back then they had refueling Glue.

          1. Yes, and 2004 qualifying times were set with race fuel. Which makes those times even more impressive.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          13th July 2016, 11:54

          They are still 6seconds a lap slower on the race.

          Don’t sniff too much of your own user name!
          FLAP 2013 Silverstone: 1:33.401
          FLAP 2016 Silverstone: 1:35.548

          1. I was referring to the difference between quali pace and race pace this season. The low times in qualifying are one-off, as they are still at least 6seconds a lap slower during the race.

      2. Do not forget this record is for Silverstone configuration introduced just six years ago, in 2010. There weren’t those V10 monsters with sculpted aero, cars already looked like a cartridge-razors with wheels.

        1. Lap records were broken in Austria and Bahrain too.

      3. helps when you have unlimited boost and money to prop up F1.

        Rework the V8’s, ditch KERS and throw a supercharger on them, and I bet you 10000 quid they would run circles around these cars. The problem with F1 is that is over regulated, performance comes from ‘tweaking’ the rules and dumping money in to a limited set of solutions.

        If the V8’s were not locked down, unlike the V6’s which are pretty much a spend fest right now, unlimited almost, then you would have probably seen better times in the last few remaining years, short of Pirelli throwing dodgy tires to slow down teams like RBR.

        1. @xsavior, development of the V8 engines was unrestricted during the opening few years of that formula (although the resultant heavy spending was the reason why the restrictions came in in the first place). You also really can’t just “throw a supercharger” onto the old V8 engines – you’d probably have to rework the engine architecture so heavily that you’d probably be better off starting from scratch.

        2. As Anon below mentions, @xsavior, the V8s were massively developed and teams spent maybe as much on them as they now spend on the hybrids. It was one of the reasons that led to stopping development and agreeing to fix the engines – because the costs were becoming overbearing for little advantage!

          To make them work properly with a turbo you would have to start from scratch to make it really work. By then you could just as easily just stop developping the current V6s (although i think Honda would be upset with that and Renault and maybe even Ferrari would protest), to lower the cost and just get on with it. You would have more powerfull engines running at far better fuel efficiency at a cost that does not have to be all that different.

          1. I never said a turbo, I said a supercharger, you could even power it with a flybrid if you wanted too. Turbos are great if you want to spend a lot of money.

            1. Turbos more expensive than supercharger? Must be why most new road car engines are Supercharged….oh no…they are turbocharged, obviously road car manufacturers are not trying to make profit otherwise they would use superchargers.

        3. ColdFly F1 (@)
          13th July 2016, 12:03

          I’ll take you GBP10,000 bet, @xsavior!
          Besides what anon and @bascb stated, let’s get clear as well on which (if any) restrictions we use for both engines. Do we use current RPM and fuel flow restrictions or the ones of the V8 days?
          And are we racing a single lap or full race? Size of fuel tank, and with or without refuelling?
          We don’t want to compare apples and oranges, do we?

          Let the games begin!

        4. A supercharger you have to drive with power from the engine, typically used to close a torque gap. A turbo uses energy that goes to waste in the exhaust. As f1 is finely tuned to a certain Rev range, a supercharger is a bad solution, wasting energy.

          Hybrids + batteries etc. Are a similar waste, the kgs are beter spend in fuel…

        5. V8’s were slower and drank more fuel. Supercharger on the V8. Might as well say let V6 have larger batteries or unrestricted ERS and Tey would be quicker again.

      4. For me it is not just a matter of matching previous records. The cars and tracks are safe enough that these cars should be much faster than ever by now. They are looking to do something about that for next year, but for me it is moreso whether or not we still have a series of ultra-conservation, delta lap running. The drivers should be in faster cars that require that slight bit more concentration and physical G’s so they are more taxed, but should also not be limited by monitoring fuel consumption and tires. F1 needs to be a sprint again. Right now it is F1-lite.

        1. @robbie “F1 needs to be a sprint again. Right now it is F1-lite.”

          F1 was never really a full on sprint, Even when they had refueling there was still a lot of tyre/fuel management going on as well as things like brake management on the circuits that were harder on brakes. It is true to say that since 2011 with the introduction of the high-deg tyres there has been more management going on with tyres & later fuel but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t going on before that.

          One of the differences back then was that we didn’t really hear about it partly because drivers were never asked about it by the media & partly because the radio conversations related to it were not broadcast.

          On the radio point I actually asked somebody from FOM not too long ago why they had increased the radio broadcast’s regarding management over recent years & the reply I got was that it was because since the high-deg tyre era was introduced in 2011 it was felt that the management aspect was something that fans needed to hear about given how important it had become & the same was true from 2014 when fuel management became more important.

          Pirelli say there 2017 tyres will be more durable, Require less management & allow drivers to push harder for longer so that may improve that aspect.
          And regarding fuel, There already having to manage that less than they were in 2014 & thanks to the development & improvements of the current power units (Improvements in the hybrid systems have played a big role in reducing fuel usage & therefore fuel management) & that will only continue to improve as the technology is further developed & improved.

          The cars have been getting faster, The power units have been getting more powerful & are by all accounts already the most powerful engines F1 have had since the qualifying boost levels of the 80s (In the races those turbo’s were producing less power than current units).

          F1 is getting faster, Management is going to become less of a thing & lap times are going to fall.

          1. @gt-racer Well said and I do agree. I know even in F1’s most sprinty times there was management going on, but as you have said never moreso than with this current philosophy of tires. When I say sprint I don’t mean all-out sprint, but something much better than delta time running and losing one’s tires merely from following another car. I think in addition to what you have said we didn’t hear as much about it before because management wasn’t the overwhelming topic that it has become. It was taken as a reasonable part of the game going back decades, whereas lately it has changed the game completely.

            I think they’re feeling this too or they wouldn’t be making the big changes they are for next year. I just want to once again feel like these drivers are performing a great feat, and not the feat of excessive management as a means to winning a race via computer model….while in slower cars, while on more forgiving and even boring tracks by some accounts.

            I can grasp the concept of them thinking that since management was becoming more prevalent we’d need to hear more about that, but that presumes people wanted that to be more of the game and would therefore accept that, but I don’t think that turned out to be the way to go. It has only made the drivers sound more like passengers monitoring systems, than gladiators racing on some enthralling limit.

            2017 tires to push harder for longer? Perfect. Exactly what they need. Pu’s getting more powerful? Perfect. Exactly what we expected once the teams have had some time with them. Things should hopefully get much better next year, and I haven’t believed the rhetoric that it is all about more aero and therefore the wrong direction. It’s about more downforce from ground effects at the rear, and more mechanical grip, and even if they still don’t quite have it right these wider cars and tires will to me carry much more potential to be tweaked into the beasts we need out there.

    10. At last people are realizing that halo or aeroscreen is not the way and it will finish off a dying Formula 1 but jean todt gives a cr@p about it

      1. Seems like political correctness is more important than competition in F1 these days. I think Hamilton’s approach to be the more appealing solution, if drivers want to risk it, they should be allowed to race with out it.

        Unfortunately, given the way F1 is being run, options and opportunities to choose for one’s self don’t seem to be a real thing these days.

        1. @xsavior I think you’re confusing “politically correct” with “correct”. Even in war fighting scenarios, organisations are _required_ to take all reasonable steps to reduce risk. Why should a _sport_ be except from that? Because they’re famous, their lives have less value?

          Saying “if drivers want to risk it, they should be allowed to race with out it” has been proven to work. Time and time again we’ve seen competitive people taking bigger and bigger risks in order to gain an advantage, to the point where they are no longer making a rational decision. The way to deal with it is to make safety first class, and mandatory. Anything less is basically corporate manslaughter.

          1. not at all.

            what is reasonable about obstructing a drivers field of view to account for a hazard that hasn’t been observed in F1’s modern era?

            Would Biachi have benefited from a Halo, hard to say for sure, but probably not seeing as how his brain injury was due to a rapid deceleration, not impact.

            Would the Halo have helped Massa? Probably 50/50, might have even made it worse.

            How often do F1 cars get launched in to the side of a wall/fence or have to worry about wheels falling off another car and landing on their heads….

            There are real risks, and then you have your freak accidents.

            I would argue the Halo is a bigger risk then the rare edge case it pretends to serve.

            Having taken a seminar on risk management, understanding how to identify hazards and quantify risks, I can, say with pretty good confidence that the Halo is purely a politically correct device used to MITIGATE LIABILITY, the risk of having to pay out on a law suite. It has nothing to do with the safety of the drivers because it is more hazardous, on the average, to drive with one on, than without.

        2. It wouldn’t work. If it was made in any way optional, every team would take the lighter option and not run with it (with the possible exception of Manor and Haas, the only non-front-of-grid teams I can think of with sufficient werewithal to withstand the financial consequences of fielding a slower car – safety tends not to be an issue on cars that aren’t running due to the team running out of money). Any driver asking for a head protection device would be told it wouldn’t be happening as the risk is no bigger than they were running in junior series (which don’t yet have the safety devices) and besides, the car runs [insert time here] seconds faster without it due to the car being optimised to not have the device… Plus, the driver would have to wait until the start of the following season for the head protection to be applied or disapplied, due to homologation rules, and for the same reason one team could not accommodate two drivers if they decided differently regarding head protection (be that yes/no, or one wanting a Halo-ish solution and the other an Aeroscreen-esque one). That would be just too much hassle for a team to sort out, especially in the absence of compelling evidence that any of the three answers constitutes an improvement in safety over the other two. So teams would go on what they can quantify – weight and aero effects – and make the decision on that rather than safety.

          So it wouldn’t be optional any more – it would be forbidden.

          1. just like the poorer teams would have elected to opt with the V8’s. They would have remained more competitive and some of the teams wouldn’t have folded or be looking for bailouts to service the political conscious of the bureaucrats running F1.

    11. What about making cars that just can make a decent start in the wet?

      We can extend that. What about making cars that can be driven in the wet? That’s the sport with more tecnologic development rate in the world… They can’t make cars that can start with a little of rain? I’ve always wondered why not one of the lowgrid teams decides one year to make the car thinking in the rainy races. If thay make a car that is good in this situations, they can achieve a pair of good results in a normal year. The cars now are probably more difficult to drive in wet conditions that ever, due to aero depending and other things, but, even a lowgrid team have a very big amount of €€€$$$, and I always wondered why they do not waste a year to probe this theory. The answer is probably that technical rules do not allow such a thing. Probably the FIA could do some research and think how they can improve the situation.

      But we can extend more… What about making tyres that actually work in the rain? Since Pirelli is supplying, I can’t remember a single race with full wet tyres being really used “for racing”. When the cars have the full wet tyres, almost always the Safety Car is on the track. And when Charlie decide to start or re-start… all cars go for inters in 2-3 laps. Bridgestone made full wet tyres that worked. Michelin made full wet tyres that worked better. I can’t tell if the full wet Pirellis are good or not because I haven’t seen them working. I can’t tell if this is because Charlie, or because Pirelli don’t have good full wet tyres. I live in Spain, but if I have to buy a winter tyres… I think this is not going to make me to decide for Pirellis.

      The drivers themselves know that this is not good image for them, and the teams should to. And they want to race 90% of the times when the SC is on track only for the rain. Give them a machine that they can race in the rain properly, including the start. Obviously there is always one or two times in the year where the heavy rain hits a race and in these conditions I think it’s good to stop the race, or have a SC time waiting for best conditions, but in the last times we only need little rain or no rain at all but wet pavement to start a race with SC.

      The perfect situation is hard to find but I think F1 is not working correctly to solve this problem.

      1. Funny, i’ve thought about that before (re. lower teams making a car suited for rain).

        Couple of problems, though:

        *Wet weather racing is dead (RIP 2007). The moment they started asking driver’s opinions as to whether they should bring in safety cars etc, was the moment it died. A lost art, sadly.

        *From my understanding, the set up these days from dry to wet doesn’t actually vary as much as it used to (due to tighter regs, i’m guessing)

        *Building a car suited for 1/2 races of the entire season does seem a little backward

        But still, i’d like to see it! haha

        1. Now we have all teams with points. But back when there was HRT, Caterham and Virgin, none of them achieved one point. If you have a car that fits the rain situation, and can make 2-3 decent races, maybe you can make some points in that races. And for the rest of the year… what is the difference between being +3.5 or +7.5 off pace?

          1. You need to be within 107% of the best Q1 time to participate in the race. So yeah, +3.5 and +7.5 aren’t the same thing.

    12. “When the cars have the full wet tyres, almost always the Safety Car is on the track.”

      Because Jules Bianchi.

      1. Such was the case for a couple of years before then too. Pirelli’s intermediate tyre is so good at the sort of wet conditions F1 usually encounters that by the time the extreme wets are useful in terms of grip, the cars are kicking up too much water for people to be able to see what they are doing. (Note that when Jules had his accident, most people were still running reasonably well on intermediates – which is a tyre that can also handle conditions that are merely greasy. The inters are that good).

        1. Problem with Jules was not the rain, but a crane.

    13. Is it wrong that I am highly suspicious of Red Bull’s motives in going against the Halo – a device they have been rallying against since Mercedes came up with it as a potential solution somewhat more elegant thatn the roll bar that was tested with Lotus?

      I still think that the reason they brought up their screen solution was to muddy the waters and slow down introduction of any such device. Not sure whether their motives are about aero or maybe because of their close ties to Bernie and doing him the favour of not “ruining” the cars looks. But I just can’t bring myself to believing their genuine worry about safety and it being better to properly test things.

      1. I agree as I’ve hinted at above in a few paragraphs. There is no substance to their opposition other than ‘it seems rushed’ or asking if all the ramifications of the halo in an accident have been considered but offer no better alternatives (other than having put the unproven aero screen out there) nor exactly what their concerns still are of the halo device in an accident.

        As long as the halo doesn’t collapse, and they should be able to make it strong enough by many degrees, it won’t change the aero of the car, won’t fog up or get dirty, will allow access to an unconscious driver, and can be implemented with very little cost. I don’t see how it can hurt.

        I think the main opposition here is to it’s appearance. Fair enough, but anything is going to change the appearance. Not everyone will ever be pleased no matter what they do.

        1. – As long as the halo doesn’t collapse

          I have asked here previously if the Halo is durable enough to bear the weight of an overturned car without collapsing into the driver compartment thus hurting the driver in the process.

          1. I’m confident that would be one of their top concerns. It wouldn’t just have to support the weight of in overturned car, but would withstand an upside down car slamming itself into the ground, including in a multi-rollover situation.

    14. Levente (@leventebandi)
      13th July 2016, 8:22

      Naive Seb! The thing is, till it is fixed, that everyone must start with a tank filled to the top, there will be fuel saving. Strategists has high amount of computing power at their hands, and they always underfuel the cars. It is faster simplysimply, backed by the simulations teams are doing from gp to gp.

    15. So Mercedes are saying the Tag Heuer engine is better than the Merc!?

      1. I think they’re just fed up of being perceived as a 2nd best car manufacturer (behind Newer) but purely producing a good engine.

      2. “So Mercedes are saying the Tag Heuer engine is better than the Merc!?”

        In a word: No

        In more than one word: Did you even read the article?

        1. Yes, I don’t comment on things I haven’t read and understood. Some do – that’s how Brexit happened.

          They are saying that Red Bull run more wing and that is why they are slower down the straights. This would infer that had they not run extra wing, they would have the same top speed.

          Of course, top speed alone isn’t a great metric as traction, power consistency, the level you have to run your engine at and so on are crucial.

          We all know Mercedes turn their engines up in Q3. Why don’t the rest? Because they’re already running them at a higher setting?

          1. “they would have the same top speed.”

            No, they would be faster, how much faster he doesn’t say, nor imply.

            He also doesn’t say (or imply) that the Tag Heuer engine is better than Mercs, just that it is better than Red Bull say it is.

            “Why don’t the rest? Because they’re already running them at a higher setting?”

            Or because reliability limits how hard they can push their engines?

    16. When will they learn, the more they oppose an idea, the more likely that the FIA will adopt it and force it on everyone.

      Halo is almost a certainty now. :)

    17. ColdFly F1 (@)
      13th July 2016, 12:38

      ‘Sauber questions value of in-season test, just after they questioned the need to pay staff on time.’

      PS I’d have more respect for Monisha had she said that they couldn’t attend the test because they needed all the cash to pay staff!

    18. I still don’t know how they expect a driver to get out of an overturned car with that thing, they have a harder time getting out of the car normally with it on it will literally be like a cage trapping them in..It could seriously make some nightmarish scenario’s if the car is on fire

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        13th July 2016, 16:02

        The halo actually has an inbuilt spring mechanism. When the car stops upside down the halo will spring open and put the car straight up again.
        The ‘open halo’ will make it easier to extract the driver and can also be used to connect a lifting hook.

      2. I do hear you but I’m not sure how well they expect a driver to get out of an overturned car now, without the halo. I think it is about access to the driver to stabilize his head and neck if need be, while they overturn the car. Even without a halo fire is an issue including when a car is upside down, and that’s what marshals are for. I’m sure they always have to assume the worst case in a crash…that the driver may be incapacitated somehow and shouldn’t be moved immediately until checked out, unless of course he’s already moving and obviously fine.

        Anyway, access to the driver in all circumstances is why I don’t see a canopy or even RBR’s aero screen with it’s high sides as viable.

        1. Well in the case of Alonso’s crash earlier this year it would have been very difficult for him to get out of the car with the halo, but he managed to get out immediately with how the cars are now. And also saying “well that’s what marshalls are for” in the case of a fire is a bit silly, on some of the longer tracks like Spa there won’t be a marshall on the scene immediately on some of the more remote parts of the track and if a big fire breaks out every second counts.

          Vettel who was all for it earlier this year has come out now over the last week and said he doesn’t think it’s ready, so I would put more faith in a experienced driver that has actually tested it. Also it really does absolutely nothing to stop things like what happened to Felipe Massa in 2009, and drivers are at just as much risk from small debris at high speed as they are from other things. I just think it all needs way more development than what it’s at right now, it feels like a incomplete concept.

          1. @JammyB Not sure how you know how difficult it would have been for FA to get out of the car with a halo. They wouldn’t be considering it if it were a trap for the drivers like a full canopy would be. If long tracks like Spa are a problem in terms of marshals getting to drivers, that’s a problem with or without halos, which will still include the need for drivers to extricate themselves within a certain number of seconds. Small debris carries a far less likelihood of doing serious damage than large debris which is what is being tackled here. Nobody ever said they have to come up with some perfect solution, nor is there one. I respect SV’s opinion too, but it seems to disregard what good there is in it, and the good work the scientists have been doing, without really saying what would make it better.

      3. I still don’t know how they expect a driver to get out of an overturned car with that thing

        I think Button explained this concern well after Alonso’s crash:

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/03/20/halo-not-concern-alonso-crash-button/

    19. it’s funny how people want to scream about power but completely ignore a thing called energy. Mercedes advantage isn’t power output, it’s energy efficiency.

    20. I am sure there must have been a lot of thought that’s gone into the HALO already. It’s not at all pleasing to look at but i guess it’s the best option at the moment. Personally I would delay its introduction as i am not sure it will provide the benefits it’s supposed to. I don’t think it would have made that much difference to Jules Bianchi’s crash for one thing.

      Keep thinking about it and work on something for 2018 would be my choice.

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