Halos, 2016

How the entire F1 field looks with the Halo

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During practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix today Haas became the 11th and final team to test the Halo head protection system.

However the FIA has already confirmed the device will not be introduced in time for the 2017 season as originally planned. It will be made mandatory the year after at the earliest.

Will we ever see the Halo on a full field of Formula One cars? As of today we now have a better idea what that might looks like.

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

Mercedes is the team which pioneered the Halo concept however it was not the first to test it on a car.

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Instead it was Ferrari who first trialled the Halo, giving both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel the opportunity to run it during pre-season testing.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

While most teams have run a standard black Halo, Williams was the first to match its colour to the rest of their livery. One of the strongest objections to the Halo has been its effect on the cars’ aesthetics.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

Red Bull did some work on an alternative to Halo. This was called Aeroscreen and the team tested it during practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Daniel Ricciardo’s car. However it was found not to perform as well as Halo in the FIA’s tests.

Force India

Sergio Perez, Force India, Monza, 2016
Sergio Perez, Force India, Monza, 2016

Nico Hulkenberg was one of the strongest critics of the Halo, describing it an unattractive and unnecessary. Both he and Force India team mate Sergio Perez have tested it.

Renault

Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Renault’s drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer have also questioned the need for Halo. The former has even gone so far as to suggest it won’t be introduced.

Magnussen experienced a major fire during practice in Malaysia while not using the Halo. The incident raised questions over whether the Halo would impede a driver’s ability to escape from the cockpit in an emergency.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2016
Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2016

Daniil Kvyat tried the Halo for the first time at the Circuit of the Americas. His team mate had already run it at Spa-Francorchamps, where its effect on visibility on the steep climb up Eau Rouge was a particular cause for concern.

Sauber

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Sauber were among the last teams to test the Halo, running it in Mexico for the first time. The team also produced an interactive 360-degree image of the device:

McLaren

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Singapore, 2016
Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Singapore, 2016

A violent accident for Fernando Alonso in the first race of the year underlined the importance of driver safety but also pointed to a potential drawback of Halo: Would it delay a driver’s escape from a car?

Alonso’s team mate Jenson Button pointed out that in Alonso’s crash the speed with which he could have got out of the car was less of a priority than protecting him during the accident.

Button had a near-miss at Monaco when his car struck a loose drain cover. On this occasion Alonso used the incident to draw attention to the importance of head protection.

Manor

Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Manor was another team which did not run the Halo for the first time until late in the year.

Haas

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Interlagos, 2016
Romain Grosjean, Haas, Interlagos, 2016

Haas became the last team to trial the Halo during practice in Brazil.

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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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  • 50 comments on “How the entire F1 field looks with the Halo”

    1. Hate to say it…but I could get used to the cars looking like that. But a precedent has to be set. Is F1 a open, or closed cockpit formula?

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        11th November 2016, 12:54

        I was just thinking exactly the same. Particularly the Williams white one. I’d still rather it didn’t appear but it’s going to in some shape or form eventually I guess.

        1. The williams one looks better as it at least matches the colour scheme. Im amazed more teams didnt match theirs to their colour scheme.

          1. Same. I’m surprised others haven’t too, but I do definitely think it’s not as bad once the livery is on.

            Personally I think I would get used to it eventually, but is it really really the right thing for Formula One?

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        11th November 2016, 13:13

        F1 boiled down to a sentence is: the highest level of single seater racing.

      3. Open, with or without the halo. Much the same as it was still open cockpit when the high head rests where introduced.

      4. Absolutely hideous and of questionable benefit in an accident. It’s unlikely it would have done anything to change the outcome in any recent injury or fatality. I’d prefer a fully-enclosed cockpit over these monstrosities.

        1. It doesn’t look completely horrific from the side as can be seen on the Haas above, but alas from any other angle its obviously a hideous, aesthetic dead duck.

          Contrary to what others have said I actually think it looks better in black as at least it just looks bolted on. When its painted in livery colours ALA Williams it looks like some sort of deformity.

    2. To me, the one on the Williams looks best, but none of them actually would ruin the look of the cars for me. I could easily get used to them. Many of them are black and look too different to the rest of the car.

    3. Oh well.

      On the positive side… My children will see more of me on the weekends.

      Time to find a more masculine racing series for 2018.

      Do Super Formula do a live stream?

        1. Still have a year left yet. Thanks for the send off though.

        2. Haha. Formula E has better racing. Just has that annoying whining like remote control cars.

          Personally, I think people will get used to them, but I think they look pants.

          I support 100% people having more head safety, but the solution so far look awkward at best.

      1. I don’t see in any way how this is any less ‘masculine’. @drone

      2. I almost threw up when I saw the montage of pictures at the top. What a stupid solution to what really didn’t need fixing.

    4. To be fair, they don’t look bad in general, especially if they work it into the livery well like Williams or the Renault.

      I’m all for safety being improved where possible, but this is not going to stop all injuries/fatalities. Three accidents from the past sit at the front of my mind when I see the Halo: Jules Bianchi (2014 Japanese Grand Prix), Henry Surtees (2009 Formula 2 at Brands Hatch) and Felipe Massa (2009 Hungarian Grand Prix). I can’t see how Bianchi would have been saved by the Halo as the impact was too severe (happy to be proved wrong). With Massa/Surtees, the incidents both involved debris around the drivers head… Would something small, like a spring (thinking Massa), be able to slip through? Would something larger and heavier, like a wheel (thinking Surtees), still be able to land on the head at the right (or should I say wrong?) angle? I don’t know, but looking at the device, I think both could still happen.

      I’m not saying it’s the wrong solution, as if it saves one driver then it’s worth it.

      1. It is however, the wrong solution if it saves one driver but fails for another when a better solution would have saved both.

        I am all for head protection but not this solution.

        1. Only if that better solution is readily available and doesn’t cause other unsolved issues @petebaldwin

    5. Ah, my eyes! It hurts!

    6. The front strut needs to follow the angle of the nose if the halo has any chance of looking ‘normal’.
      That’s the tricky bit of a standard component though, how to make sure it’s integrated in an aesthetically pleasing way… I have no answers.

      1. It’s a similar question to “how to you attach a finger to the front or the nose and make it look good?”

        Answer: You don’t.

    7. They look universally horrendous. Of course we could get used to them as we did with the rediculous noses or the steps but it doesnt change the fact that they look absolutely terrible and once a better solution is found, people will look back and laugh that this was even considered.

      1. NFL players are at risk of head injury in American football, despite their helmets. Perhaps the NFL could design a similar “halo”, based on the F1 design, which attaches to the upper torso via a harness built into the chest and shoulder pads, akin to the HANS.
        It would look ridiculous but almost certainly would lower the risk of injury. And since driving the risk of injury to zero overrides all other considerations then the NFL must implement this solution, just like F1.

    8. If it does come in, my opinion is that it looks less ugly if the colour matches that of the body, the way Williams built it.

      1. @shimks I actually think the one of the Williams looks far worse as is stands out a lot more than the unpainted black ones.

    9. I don’t understand where the hate comes on an aesthetic level for the halo. It doesn’t look any less pleasant than a suspension arm.

      It keeps the series an open top category and might save someone’s life. It’s a no-brainer based on the assumption it is safer. I do have my reservations about role overs on grass of gravel.

      1. Why aren’t enclosed cockpits a no-brainer then? Removing a driver completely is safer… is that a no brainer too? Who draws the line?

        I detest the Halo. I also predict it will kill Formula 1 off.

        Time will tell.

        1. @drone

          Would an enclosed cockpit be safer? We have driver exit to consider. I still have questions over the halo safety for driver exit and how it will behave rolling over on grass and gravel, but to detest it from an aesthetic or ‘DNA of the sport’ perspective makes no sense. Suspension arms are pieces of carbon that hold the wheel on and form wise are comparable to the halo. I love how F1 is form following function, none of the cars are beautiful in the natural sense but they are striking designs.

          And your straw man argument of removing the driver from the car has no relevance to measures of increasing the safety of the driver still being in the car. That’s a separate debate entirely your welcome to bring up elsewhere but it isn’t an equivalent argument to the case of increasing in car driver safety.

          1. I detest it from an aesthetic point of view. I also require a certain amount of danger in a sport for it to remain exciting. It’s a quantifiable value in both cases. It’s not that I want someone to die… It’s that I want someone to push to the limit and get close to it…with great risk… without dying. To me, that is heroic… or brave. In the past I have used a tightrope walker as an analogy. More people would watch a tightrope walker if he was 500 ft above the ground than one who was 30cm off the ground. It’s not that you want the guy to fall… If they both make the tightrope crossing.. they are both good… but the 500ft guy… He’s heroic. Bring back 2004 spec cars. Things gone way too “soft” since then.

            1. @drone

              The skill of the tightrope walker is what keeps him from falling, that makes it impressive to watch.

              The skill of an F1 driver is handling all that power and speed and keeps them from sliding, spinning or colliding with each other which makes it impressive to watch.

              There is no skill involved in being or not being hit in the head. I’m not impressed watching their exposed heads because the drivers have no control over that danger.

            2. So risk plays no part? So there is no difference between the 500ft tightrope walker and the one just off the ground? They both have the same skills… but it’s the risk which adds excitement. Even if it was the same person walking both tightropes… More would watch him at 500ft. Put too much cotton wool on a
              F1 and it may as well be a video game to me.

            3. @drone

              It’s the difference between a passive and an active risk though. If the risk is passive in that no action of the person taking part has any control or influence then that doesn’t provide entertainment, not to me anyway. The drivers head sticking out so that a stray spring might ruin their career, or an unrelated incident might take their head off holds no appeal. That’s like watching Russian roulette.

              It’s the cars being wild beasts to drive where the driver is on a knife edge keeping it pointing the same way, cars going wheel to wheel at 200mph with the finest of margins between a passing move and a huge accident, that is exciting because the drivers skill has control over it going right or wrong and it makes it exciting to see.

              So no the danger of the drivers head being exposed offers no value. The danger of fast, hard to drive cars, dancing around each other and needing the reaction times of a fighter pilot for it to not all go wrong is exciting.

    10. I’d still like to see a screen added just because why not if they’ve got the support structure for it. If going for safety might as well go for full safety to prevent all debris, not this half and half solution… Plus I think it would be more aesthetically pleasing.

    11. I still prefered the look of the Aeroscreen, but the more I see of the Halo, the more I am getting used to it. But aesthetics have absolutely no place in discussion regarding safety anyway, so how it looks is not really worth talking about at all.

      It looks a bit different. We’ll get used to it. I’m sure sportscars fans thought similar when everything started to go tin-top.

    12. The halo is just like the post 2009 generation of cars. The more you look at them you get used to them, but it doesn’t mean they are actually good looking.

      We’ll all get used to the halo, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hideous.

    13. I don’t think it looks that bad unless very team just chooses the black color option.

    14. I still think its hideous & to be perfectly honest I think it looks worse & I hate it even more now than i did the 1st time I saw it.

    15. This just looks dumb and it doesn’t really prevent smaller things from hitting a driver like Massa’s 2009 accident at Budapest. Either go full canopy or accept the inherent danger of open cockpit racing and move on.

    16. Williams should have put stripes on it. Everything looks good with Martini stripes.

    17. Well gotta say aesthetically it’s very poor, but I suppose I would leave it up to drivers’ opinions, ultimately it ought to be their decision I think.

    18. Cons : Looks horrible; doesn’t protect the top of the head which is what killed Henry Surtees; wouldn’t have necessarily have helped Massa avoid injury form the spring as it could well have deflected down into his torso; could get in the way of a driver getting out from an upturned car; increases car weight; also it looks horrible…

      Pros: could protect an injury to the head that could arise from a side on collision or if a car goes underneath a car infront. Both having never happened.

      Overall an unnecessary untested safety device.

    19. I do think it looks awful. Would it have prevented many accidents I don’t know. It still leaves the top of the cockpit open over the heads of the drivers. No one wants people to be killed or injured but I think we should accept that there is a small element of danger in the sport. There is in many sports. For example how many people playing rugby or taking part in cycling are injured every year. F1 is now a remarkably safe sport and until something better can be found I think we should carry on without this ugly solution.

    20. Awful, just awful.

    21. Turd thongs.

    22. Estaban de los Casas
      26th April 2017, 6:32

      Disappointing to say the least… they look stupid. As bad as the idea of DRS. Again F1 is over reacting to appeal the life losses from debri entering the cockpit area. Just leave the cars as they are until something comes along that serves the purpose of the intent without turning the cars into looking stupid. Gotta be better than this halo toilet seat.

    23. Doesn’t a fully enclosed cockpit practically make it a sportscar without wheel fairings? I mean they’re big heavy cars already. Besides it’s not that LMP cars are build to carry multiple persons either.

    24. I really want Alonso to walk around with a sandal to show the media what he thought about the halo requirements for next year. I hope drivers question their safety and stand up and say they will not be racing next year as long as the halo is required because their life is more valuable than racing. The drivers have a diagonal between the top of the air intake above them and the chassis above their steering wheel that they cannot be taller than when inside the car. With the introduction of the halo, that introduces an element of a guaranteed object that is outside of that diagonal. The halo is not a roll cage. It is on a 3 point plane with 3 connecting points. At the speeds and forces of the F1 cars, any rollover or contact with a catch fence, the halo structure would not stand up to excessive forces exerted on it without any further bracing to it. In a rollover like Alonso’s in Melbourne, the ground would cause the structure to depress back into the driver, and they would be struck in the head or the body. It is better to risk the chance of being hit without any protection, than to guarantee there is always an object in front of you that will hit you if it fails. Juest my two cents, but the way it is engineered, no amount of testing on the forces it can withstand would make me feel comfortable if I was a driver.

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