Halo is hideous but there’s a good reason why it isn’t going away

2018 F1 season

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The Halo head protection system, which F1 cars must be fitted with from next year, challenges the idea that beauty is subjective.

There might be someone out there who likes the look of it but if there is they’ve stayed very quiet since the first iteration of the design appeared 16 months ago.

Pictures: Every 2016 F1 car with a Halo
Not from any angle does Halo look like something which belongs on a racing car. It’s like a supermodel forced to wear sixties-era orthodontic headgear. As if someone’s welded a Zimmer frame onto a Jaguar E-type.

Halo screams “health and safety”. It’s the antithesis of the racy, edgy, sexy image Formula One desires.

So it’s not hard to understand the backlash against yesterday’s announcement that next year every F1 car will be fitted with a safety thong. Yet at the same time many seem to have underestimated the FIA’s determination to introduce new frontal head protection regardless of how ugly it may be.

Having spent eight years investigating better head protection, there can be no doubt the FIA realises the potential danger to its drivers from large pieces of debris. If they now fail to act and something does go wrong, there could be serious legal ramifications.

No one wants to see another driver fatality and if one were to happen that would be a tragedy all of its own.

However should the FIA choose not to introduce Halo next year and a driver takes a fatal hit to the head from a flying wheel, the sport’s governing body could face prosecution. A lawyer would point out it recognised the potential danger, spent years devising a solution but decided not to introduce Halo.

Asked why it decided not to fit cars with a potentially life-saving development, would the FIA seriously offer “because it looked ugly” as a defence?

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This isn’t an unrealistic scenario. The FIA is already facing a lawsuit over Jules Bianchi’s fatal crash in 2014.

The death of Ayrton Senna in 1994 prompted legal action which took over a decade to resolve and prompted a revolution in safety standards in the sport. Previous F1 fatalities also led to court cases.

Following Friday’s unsuccessful test of the Shield, the FIA has ruled out any alternatives to the Halo. With teams close to finalising their 2018 car designs time has almost run out for further debate.

McLaren’s MP4-X shows how a cockpit cover could look
Although the FIA claimed to have the support of drivers for introducing the Halo, some have spoken out strongly against it.

Perhaps the FIA is hoping that, faced with the certainty the Halo will come in next year, it can obtain some kind of disclaimer from the all drivers giving their agreement for the field to race without the Halo and indemnifying the FIA from prosecution in the event of an injury it might have prevented.

Concept images of possible future F1 cars have shown how the sport could introduce full cockpit covers which retain aesthetic appeal while offering greater protection. A fully integrated approach like this, unlike Halo’s ‘bolt on’ approach, would require significant changes to the technical regulations, which forbid cockpit covers. Would drivers be willing to accept Halo as a temporary measure, or agree to race without it, until the rules are changes to permit designs like these?

While the critics of Halo number in the thousands, the race-ready alternatives to it number less than one. In the meantime the only way to make it look good is to remember it’s there to save lives.

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Author information

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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169 comments on “Halo is hideous but there’s a good reason why it isn’t going away”

  1. if drivers do not already sign disclaimers that they accept the risks then why not?

    Bianchi would be ashamed that his family are suing over his accident

    1. I think it’s dodgy ground (and in questionable taste) to assume you know what someone might have said about their death had they not died. Don’t you imagine that if you were to die and you believed someone else was to blame, you’d be angry about that?

      I doubt the disclaimer idea would work but from the wording of the statement yesterday I do wonder if the FIA is trying to provoke some kind of response from the drivers in the hope of avoiding having to go through with it. Note Wurz’s response yesterday was all broad support about safety and nothing specific about Halo. Not a great surprise given Grosjean’s views on the matter!

      1. +100

        “Bianchi would be ashamed that his family are suing over his accident” I dont think anyone can say that.

        Im against the halo for one reason only, it doesnt cover all cases. For example, it wouldnt stop Felipe’s accident in 2009 from happening again. I think the halo, shield, or whatever head protection is used, has to be able to protect drivers from accidents that have already happened at the very least (e.g. Bianci, Justin Wilson, Massa, etc).

        1. JackL has “the” point. Any safety measure must be a sizeable and guaranteed improvement. The Halo is not like any of the major safety measures introduced since 94. I can see the Halo deflecting and guiding debris towards the driver not to mention impair their vision and also their ability to evacuate the car. The philosophy in safety has been as much about the cars as the tracks. Wheel tethers as Perez demonstrated in Baku aren’t fail safe, in my view the Halo is just a wheel safety measure. The Halo is a much easier solution to loose wheels, though the Halo is a “bubble boy” solution.

          1. And I think Alonso would be worst off in his Australia crash if the halo was installed in the car (harder to get off, and probably hitting the driver if broken).

        2. This is my main problem with it. It would hardly ever stop anything – the only thing it could stop is a stray piece of debris, but even then only like 10% of the helmet would be protected, so the piece of debris would have to go in that 10% for the driver to be safe. Like peartree said as well, even if the debris hits that 10% window, it could still deflect into the drivers head…
          There’s much more effective methods, like a non-curved shield that protects drivers and doesn’t make them feel sick by being so distorting. It’s almost like the FIA felt as though they had to do something after Bianchi so are just enforcing the first thing they could think of as they couldn’t think of anything else, no matter how much everyone disagrees with it.

          1. @JackL @peartree @hugh11 But this was never meant to prevent every small bit of debris from hitting the drivers…those aren’t commonly the issue. It is large items like a tire or a wing piece or what have you that has actually been proven to be fatal in a few cases in recent years that they are trying to protect the drivers from. They are not looking to redesign the cars from the ground up in order to accommodate something that would deal with every last single piece of debris that might hit the driver. Without spending billions and completely changing the face of F1 they just want to prevent an incident such as happened to Justin Wilson, as one example.

          2. @hugh11 not sure a non-curved shield would have the strength to resist to such high velocity impacts

      2. @keithcollantine

        Here’s an idea, I’m sure there’s someone, registered to this site, that is educated in European Law and could perhaps shed some light upon the issue of safety and due diligence in high-risk activities.

        In the last few days there have been some comments by users that imply that by adopting the halo, F1 is starting to slide down a path of kiddie-ing up the racing. I don’t think that is the case, but, as reliable source of information I think F1F should try to explain to its public the reasons from a technical perspective, in this case the legal technicalities.

        You do a great job with presenting information, the interactive laps charts after each GP and the side-by-side comparisons at the beginning of the season are two examples of that; I just think that there’s is a need for a more thorough explanation of why addressing safety won’t leave us fans with a show devoid of human skill and determination.

        1. @faulty, one case that comes to mind would be that of Mark Donohue, where his family sued Goodyear, Bell Helmets and Penske after his fatal accident in 1975 (though they dropped their action against Bell when they received an out of court settlement). In that case, the Donohue family did win the case – Goodyear, and I think also Penske, did launch an appeal thereafter, though eventually they reached an out of court settlement with Donohue’s family in 1984.

        2. @robbie In F1 you wouldn’t see a Justin Wilson fatality, the way the wings are designed, means there’s no chance any large chunk is going to be thrown away by the car. So it’s tyres and wall they are worried about. I agree with @hugh11 you were really close on that 10% figure It’s 17%, they are really desperate, they feel they have to do something, it’s not like they are not being sued.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      20th July 2017, 17:17

      Given that Bianchi crashed into a tractor that most people agree should not have been there in those conditions, I think you can make an argument for suing the FIA.

      1. You could also argue that had Jules been obeying the yellow flags as he should have – and everyone else did – then the accident would not have occurred.

        1. Jules could not have slowed down and been competitive. Safty gear is mandatory so everyone can use it without penalty. Consider Vettel in Brazil – he said the race should be red flagged, but he sure didn’t park the car. A winning driver can’t slow down if their rivals don’t.

          The marshals are in great danger too. Except they cannot make a driver slow down. I guess we could debate if anyone should work as marshals under those conditions… What would we think if the marshals had walked in Brazil last year?

    3. That’s very presumptuous of you. Were you Jules’ best friend or something? How would you know what he would have felt better than his family?

  2. Couldn’t a lawyer also point out it would be safer at 60kph max but FIA allowed them to speed.

    Where does it stop?

    1. That’s different, the driver is actively controlling the car to exceed that speed, they have no control over debris flying at their head.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        20th July 2017, 14:17

        Sure but if they have an accident at 60, there is a drastically reduced chance of debris flying into the crowd or hitting another driver…. I think the the point is how far do we take this? What is an acceptable risk and what is too much?

        1. It doesn’t stop.

          If potential “lawsuits” are the vice to the problem here (which I just cannot understand) then they inevitably have to introduce more and more safety measures like the halo.

          Autoscooter number around all wheel a to prevent car from going up is next.
          It is inevitable.

        2. Racerdude7730
          20th July 2017, 19:41

          Are you crazy? 60? Anything over 40 will have me tune out

      2. Still, Bianchi was deemed to have been driving too fast for a double waved yellow situation and his relatives are suing nonetheless

        1. Ferrari doesn’t hire the driver who slow down first.

  3. Yep I agree completely. Surely it can’t be that hard to mandate the halo on safety grounds but if a team/driver wishes to not comply they do so at their own risk.

    By doing so they absolve the FIA of all responsibility.

    Seems pretty straightforward to me..

    1. I see where you are coming from here, but if one or the other option provides a competitive advantage then that will win out regardless of the drivers actual preference.

      1. @homerlovesbeer

        Surely it can’t be that hard to mandate the halo on safety grounds but if a team/driver wishes to not comply they do so at their own risk.

        If that were the case for most safety innovations on the cars, the cars wouldn’t have them, because they’d be quicker without them. As that principle obviously wouldn’t work anywhere else, why apply it for Halo?

        We’re talking about adding several kilograms of weight high up on the car. It’s not just the mass involved, it’s terrible for the centre of gravity. The advantage of not having it would be huge.

        Consider that Nico Rosberg stopped cycling near the end of last year to bring his leg weight down to save a few hundredths of a second. The weight penalty of Halo would be massively greater than this in relative terms.

        So I think that’s a non-starter.

        1. If I remember correctly, some drivers chose not to use the strengthened element above the helmet visor to safe some weight…

        2. I am pretty sure that besides what Keith and @danstimo rightly point out about the competative advantage, the FIA doesn’t stand a chance with saying “oh, but they risked it themselves” in case anything happens.

          As the regulator, it is the FIA that is responsible for creating and ensuring an environment as safe as can realistically be achieved in the competition. A car that does not have working wheel tethers is unsafe, therefore it cannot race. The side-impact structure is a safetydevice, if it is not there, the car cannot be allowed on track, not even during testing. Once a Halo is there for safety, a car not having one would be unsafe to race and therefore cannot be allowed on track either.

        3. Someone ought to ask Sainz to cut his hair!

          1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
            20th July 2017, 14:32

            @phylyp maybe McLarens keep breaking down because of the weight of Alonso’s eyebrows.

          2. @phylyp I’ve often thought that about Eurocup driver Max Defourny

          3. Michael Brown (@)
            20th July 2017, 17:22

            @keithcollantine His hair is an aerodynamic device

    2. I’m assuming the idea here is that there would be a disclaimer for all the drivers. I don’t see them allowing some cars/drivers the halo and some not. There would be a performance difference in cars with vs without the halo, so all drivers would opt out of it anyway, likely, in favour of performance. I just can’t see FIA/FOM allowing to happen a scenario where there is a mix of halo and non-halo cars on the track.

      1. Legally any disclaimer or waiver would not prevent all possible legal action. The FIA has a duty of care to the drivers and could still be sued for negligence if there was a death or injury, on the grounds that they had studied and assessed the risk, developed a solution (the halo) which was proven to reduce the risk but had then chosen not to implement it.

    3. it is absolutely not straightforward

      safety regulations can not be optional, like in any industry the governing body or government has to impose safety measures.

      f1 is nothing different from any other industry, people (the racers) work for companies (the teams) in possible dangerous situations

      imagine we make any safety measure optional if the worker signs a waiver.
      no hard hats on construction sites, no safety belts in road cars, no fall protection for people who work at heights

      anytime someone can safe money (or in the case of f1 gain some aerodynamic advantage) they will, a worker or driver will seem to have a choice but in reality he never will as the company will hire workers who choose to not want the expensive/slow measure.

      safety has to be imposed there is no other option.

      Imagine if all the safety measures since the Senna accident had been optional. this is no different.
      Surtees, Bianchi, Massa enough is enough, we will get used to the looks soon enough.

      1. You’re exactly right. How many of us, when we ask for tenders to do some work, insist that all safety protocols are followed? When considering tenders do we automatically reject those that appear to be so cheap that safety protocols must have been compromised? For example, say we wanted the brake pads changed on our car, would we insist the mechanics use the special fluids needed to wash away the asbestos dust? Or do we then accept the lowest tender without inquiring as to why?
        In the same way, accountants would easily be able to justify not fitting Halo or whatever the safety device was on offer.
        We accept a car chassis has to be crash tested, we accept a driver has to wear a full face crash helmet, wear fire proof overalls, high sides around the driver, and wear the Hans Safety device, yet we baulk at the thought of a hardened steel bar in front of them to protect them?
        The world has changed since the first F1 race. We need to accept this as part of the way the world is now.

        1. Correct. So if the world has changed, and safety is the top priority thus the abomination that is HALO is forced upon us then why not go with closed cockpits? Why not try the Shield for more than one lap? Why not try a couple of different Shield designs based on driver feedback?

          The FIA is skirting around the edges of an issue with a half-baked ‘solution’ to head protection instead of stating what we can all see plainly, that is that the open cockpit single seater will have to go in the name of driver safety. Accept this, use one of the multitude of attractive and safe options created by professionals and amateurs alike for closed cockpits and move on.

          But not HALO. It is butt ugly and not the safest option. We can talk for as long as we want about liability if a driver gets injured but what if another incident like Massa had occurs and HALO doesn’t work, but Shield would have? What then?

    4. @homerlovesbeer Straightforward until one f1 engineer realises that running the Halo might earn them an aero advantage…

    5. It might not be just the FIA. My understanding is some NASCAR drivers were forced to wear the HANS device by the sponsors. They wanted to protect their drivers for business reasons. I think this went on a few years until Earhart’s fatal wreck.

      I could also imagine insurers taking the same position. Track insurers, and drivers insurers (including for business losses).

      Consider each track presents a different counties legal system. What a mess.

      All reasons the money behind the sport could be pushing for this.

      I think this explains why they aren’t introducing this in lower categories where it would save more lives. Which i think is a bigger pity than getting ugly F1 cars.

    6. Let’s see what would happen:

      Boardroom meeting in one of f1 teams. Summer 2017. Fia has just announced that all safety requirements for 2018 onwards are optional.

      So far we have calculated that we can remove 77kg from the car. List goes as follows:
      – 15kg wheel tethers
      – 10kg nose cone without crash proofing
      – removal of cockpit side protection and roll hoop -15kg
      – removal of driver seat, driver suit, gloves, shoes and seatbelts and helmet: -20kg
      – removing safety margins from monococque: -5kg
      – removal of safety fuel cells and using bare wiring where ever possible: -10kg
      – removal of the shrapnel shroud around the turbo: -2kg

      Good job mr Wilkins. Now bring in the drivers.
      *Drivers enter to the room*

      Good morning lads! Here is our contract proposal for next year. Read it and sign it and if you have questions let me know.
      *Drivers start reading the list”
      No safety fuel cell, one asks?
      That’s right, it is about 5kg of useless weight. A tenth or two on some tracks.
      But I don’t want to burn in my car, the driver replies.
      Are you some kind of wussy?
      No response. The drivers keep reading the contract.
      Excuse me, it says here no driver suit. Am I going to drive naked?
      All the drivers laugh.
      Yes, you will drive naked, it is about 5kg of useless weight. A tenth or two…
      But what about my sponsors, other driver asks. I have a deal to have these 4 sponsor stickers on my overalls.
      You will have them tattooed on your skin come the reply swiftly.
      What about my helmet?
      You’ll have to tattoo those too.
      Well, I’m okay with all of these except that safety fuel cell. I don’t like to burn in my car.
      You must accept all of these or we get another driver.
      Ok, where do I sign?
      Not yet. First we need you to have a surgery to remove your appendix.
      Hands are shaked and schedules are updated. Sauber will announce their 5 driver lineup in the following week and this time they are sure they’ll use each one of them as the season goes on.

  4. If Liberty were looking for an angle to revolutionize the sport into a new era – here it is.

    Futuristic cars based on new cockpit regulation.


    1. This. So much this!

    2. Presumably Liberty dont actually have the authority to change the regulations, particularly one about safety.

      Clearly that authority sits with the FIA and Jean Todt. You wonder what sort of sway they might have – they can’t be fans of the notion that ALL F1 talk in 2018 being about the ugliness of the cars. Mind you, the Americans love to cover their backsides and avoid lawsuits!

      1. Liberty controls F1…period. It does not sanction F1, but there are other sanctioning bodies out there. ACO, IMSA, IndyCAR, etc. All of this back and forth arguing about safety is irrelevant. It will come down to money, not safety. Problem is, the FIA is unaffected by money gyrations, so they do what all giant bureaucracies do…create regulations. In this case, it’s akin to NASCAR slapping on restrictor plates and eliminating tracks in the Southeastern USA. e.g. The greed of self-destruction. However, in the case of F1, they are lucky the owners and sanctioning body are completely separate, unlike NASCAR (which continues to ruin the sport). Either F1 will cease to be nearly as popular, with IndyCar and Gt benefiting massively, or it will reverse this nonsense. If the FIA wins, Liberty sells and F1 enters a very very long dark period. It happened to IndyCar with the split. I fear this is F1’s Waterloo.

  5. The article explains perfectly why people should think twice before raising possible but highly unlikely safety issues, like young, fit, and fully aware team members leaning out over the track to celebrate the winner crossing the line. If somebody got up a campaign extolling the dangers of racing near waterways caused by possible collisions with seagulls we might think it far-fetched but the FIA legal dept would have to take it seriously, and at a minimum, launch an extensive investigation into the possibility and ramifications of such an event.

    1. Hmmm…I do take your point but wouldn’t that group have to have accreditation and some pretty compelling evidence before the FIA would ‘have to’ take it seriously?

      1. @robbie, Sure, until an actual birdstrike resulted in an injury.

        1. steveetienne
          21st July 2017, 7:45

          birds are going on strike? I wasn’t aware they’d formed a union!

    2. @hohum @robbie Don’t you think that all of this might just be a power move. FIA vs Liberty. FIA out of frustration at uncooperative F1 teams and also heavy conscience and peer pressure and to save face approves the Halo. FIA devoids itself from responsibility, understanding that the undesirable Halo is unlikely to go ahead which can be the tonic for some change. FIA leaves the teams and Liberty to deal with the sporting and commercial repercussions, which then are going to lead Liberty and the teams to force technical shake ups.

      1. @peartree, Quite possible.

  6. The ultimate reason for introducing the halo is simple – we live in a society where human life matters. That has obviously not always been the case and is still not the case in many parts of the world. In the 1950s, if a driver got killed, then it was sad but not sad enough to stop the race or give much thought to the safety issues. In an authoritarian state, if an innocent man gets killed, then (mostly) it is nothing to celebrate but as long as the supreme leader is fine, it is no big deal either.

    I am not saying that those, who object the halo, are heartless villains – there can be many reasons for not liking it. I truly hope that the halo gets replaced by something less ‘urgh’ in the future. However, I am happy to live in a society that values human life.

    1. Great point made there @girts.

    2. Tony Mansell
      20th July 2017, 14:13

      Yeh get your crash helmets on lads, we’re crossing a road!

      Its easy to hide behind ‘lives at risk’. Its a spurious argument when you look at the myriad protections already there.

      In reality this is not an issue that hasn’t been addressed IN F1. They called them tethers.

      1. I agree that a lot has already been done to improve the head protection and wheel tethers are a vital part of that. However, tethers are not a panacea – as @keithcollantine rightly pointed out on Twitter, a wheel came off an F1 car as recently as last month.

        Since the beginnings of F1 world championship, safety has been an issue and new safety measures have been approved all the time – it happened even in the 1950s when helmets were made compulsory, for instance. That process has never stopped. Some believe that it is time to declare that F1 is (finally) safe enough and any risks that are left are acceptable and should be left without attention. Personally, I think that if new safety measures can be implemented without destroying the sport, then it should be done in 2010s, too. Virtual Safety Car is one example; additional head protection is another one. The halo is ugly but I believe that it can and will be improved from the aesthetics point of view. One day it will look better and everyone will be happy – drivers will be even safer and the fans will not love the sport less because of it.

    3. There is nothing to do with that. FIA is simply afraid of getting sued.

      1. Well a lot of people seem to think the halo still doesn’t do enough, and as it is there will still be danger in the sport, so no I don’t think FIA is simply afraid of being sued.

    4. I think that’s quite a leap @girts. I think it’s a little bit silly to say that life didn’t matter in the 1950s, although given that those generations did go through two horrific wars, perhaps death and injuries were treated more as parts of life. Today many of us in the west live fairly insulated lives and so have less tolerance for violence in all forms, which can only be a good thing, though that sure hasn’t stopped us exporting deadly violence elsewhere, so I’m not sure to what extent we can really claim we value life more than others have or do…anyhoo not picking a fight, just reflecting.

      On the halo as such I still say I would let the drivers vote and take it from there.

  7. I doubt this will actually be final, I expect some resistance from the teams and Liberty Global. My guess is that the teams will propose a minor version of shield, which would fit the agreement the FIA uses.

    I think it would be bad for F1. I’m not against more headprotection, and I think ‘Shield’ doesn’t look that bad, but the ‘Halo’ is again another change to the cars that ruin the aesthetics. We had the ‘way to much aerodynamic crap on the car pre-2009’, Narrow rear wing, F-duct sharkfins, platypus nose, dildo nose, again the sharkfin, t-wing, and last but not least, the one not aesthetic change, the V6 turbo hybrids. In 2018 the rules would have made F1 cars finally look fast as we want to see them, yet, the Halo will make it look silly again.

    1. I completely agree.
      If we accept the shark fins, t-wings, nostrils and other appendages such as the 10 layer front wings, turning vanes all over the car or the hideous sidepod slats, we can’t complain about the halo. It is being proposed for a fundamental reason, not just to add a few hundreds of second and cause more turbulence as all this aero nonsense.

  8. Stupid, ugly. I hate it.

  9. I think this is a solution for a not existing problem. There are no situations in F1 that would have been prevented by this that aren’t already solved.

    It is possible to race in open cockpit cars with a very high safety level. They’re doing it already, the stats prove this. The last fatality in F1 wouldn’t have been prevented by this. The one before that is already Senna.

    It just seems all so pointless.

    1. Feel free to ask Justin Wilson’s family about how they would feel if Indycar had the halo in 2015 – it’s very likely he’d still be with us. I can make the same argument for Henry Surtees, it would have given him a chance.

      I tire of complaints about how the cars look – if it can save a life, it should be implemented ASAP. End of argument. We’ve had many things come and go in the name of safety (and for that reason I have no issue with paved runoff over gravel/grass, it is safer). This is simply the next step to reducing the risk.

      1. But there is also the question if the Halo could have worked in disadvantage at certain incidents. Thinking about the Las Vegas 2011 freak accident where certain cars catched fire, drivers could have been trapped, or could have made a bigger pile-up as drivers would have had to deal with less vision. Especially on ovals the Halo offers a big blind spot for anyone to the right above you.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          20th July 2017, 17:37

          @montalvo The halo is open at the top so drivers can exit the car by undoing the seat belts and standing up like they currently do to escape a fire.

          1. I am aware, but crashed cars often don’t look so intact. What happens to the Halo when hit from the side, in a Heidfeld-Sato A1 Ring 2002 kind of crash. It could be another piece that is in the way. What if the driver is hurt and can’t get out himself, and the Halo is blocking the doctor to reach de driver.

      2. So we should put speed limits on the straights, you knwow, could save a life, we should introduce ASAP.

        1. F1 has speed limits – limited engine displacement. What would happen if they ran 5L turbos?

          Thankfully we have a compromise that allows amazing performance and most drivers to race for ten seasons without career ending injuries.

      3. No it’s not end of argument. People get to decide for themselves what they think and say.

        I don’t think this kind of cockpit protection is necessary.

      4. Comparing Justin Wilson is apples to oranges. He was in am indy car on an oval which is much faster and with inferior build and safety quality vs an f1 car. The part that killed him was from a structural failure of the nose which shouldnt have happened. Besides they solved that problem because they too will have head protection next year as reported. However in F1 there has never been problem since Massa 09. That was solved with the strip over the visor. Wheels have been solved with tethers (at the very least mitigated to minor accidents) and Bianchi’s problem with VSC. If one is going to go with head protection go full canopy or nothing. This halo creates more problems than it solves.
        merc is definitely kicking themselves for planting the idea seed into the fia’s minds in 2015….

        its going to be a dark 3 years until we get at least a new engine for 2021….hopefully the fan base will still be largely intact

  10. My personal reason why I voted for the Halo is the possibility of placing a camera in simulation to the view of a driver so f1 fanatics can appreciate real driver’s view/angle. That will be awesome!

    1. GS (@gsagostinho)
      20th July 2017, 13:22

      But then to properly simulate the driver’s view with a halo, you would need to put a bar in front of the camera blocking its view :-P

  11. The main thing I’d like to contribute is that I don’t understand the timing of it. The halo would not have saved Jules Bianchi. The halo would not have saved Justin Wilson. The halo would ‘probably not’ have saved Massa from his injuries. The only person in recent memory that this device would have saved from death is Henry Surtees. This was 8 years ago… so why are we (the FIA etc.) suddenly more concerned about this now, than in the immediate aftermath of that horrific day at Brands Hatch.

    Having said that, if it does go on to save a single life then it’s worth it. Sure, it’s ugly, but I’m sure the teams will incorporate it with some more aesthetically pleasing designs soon.

    1. An addition on the point of Surtees above… assuming this is being added as a safety measure, can we presume that the same device will now be on all open cockpit FIA series from next year?

    2. The point is not about the FIA “suddenly” being more concerned at all though @ben-n. Since the Surtees accident the FIA has studied quite an array of solutions, it also had imput from several of the F1 teams in this thinking over the years and has cooperated with various experts too.

      After the first roll-cage ideas were tested and deemed to horribly obstruct frontal view, the idea of the Halo (in the first renders it actually looked quite futuristic and nice) emerged from an initial idea of a Mercedes engineer and it seemed to adress the frontal visibility issue so was further tested and developed.
      After the first tests showed the Halo to possibly be usable, Red Bull proposed and later developed their idea with the screen to protect more, but it seems that proved unworkable in the end.
      Then the FIA actually decided in 2016 that they would introduce the Halo for this season, later that was delayed to give the opportunity to test something “better”. But the shield in its current form lasted only one lap on track (it DID absolve impact simulations up front) before the driver aborted the test, indicating this solution is not ready to be introduced.

      So, having failed to come up with anything better, the FIA gets back on the original plan and introduces the Halo for next year. I am sure they will continue to work on a better one. And in between, i am also sure the Halo can see some improvement once all engineers on the grid get into it (before a final common design is mandated that all cars will use).

      To expect every lower tier series to have this next year too, is unrealistic. I think it makes sense to have F1 finetune this, as they have the resources to do so, before implementing a Halo 2.0 in lower tier series.

    3. @ben-n The halo actually probably would have saved Justin Wilson as i’m pretty sure he was struck by the nosecone at about the level of where the top bar of the Halo would have been. As such if the Halo was fitted on the Indycar at that time it would have struck that rather than Justin.

    4. The halo would probably have saved Justin Wilson. He was hit by a large piece of debris that would at least have been broken into smaller pieces. But even if we pretend it wouldn’t, a reduction in fatal open wheel accidents in the last 10 years of 33% is still a huge deal.

  12. Mustavo Gaia
    20th July 2017, 12:57

    If the Halo is a bargaining chip, I think it is been used to leverage the Shield – as tested in Silverstone.
    The backlash will be so big that anyone against the Shield would be forced review its position.
    Otherwise, it will be like some of the quali-schemes that fall into disgrace in the first weeks of the next season.
    If really implemented, it will be a freak show when teams start to tweak with the halo for aero purposes. Just think on what they have done with the “t-wing” – now in front of the back wing.

    1. No that can always just be disallowed in the regs.

      1. Mustavo Gaia
        20th July 2017, 13:31

        And that’s is part of the problem: there is ample evidence that the people in charge of F1 regs most of the times do not come forth with the best (tech/compet./esthet,) solutions.

  13. Interesting argument. However what would happen if a driver gets injured because of the halo? Would the FIA be suit then?

    Most major accidents seem to be freak incidents. Sure, the halo removes the risk of large objects hitting a driver. But it also creates an unknown variable by introducing an open structure above the head of a driver. For instance, would the bolt hitting massa’s helmet be deflected outward by the halo or right into his chest. And in my opinion, that’s just scratching the surface as too what the halo might cause.

    1. what would happen if a driver gets injured because of the halo?

      Depends how they Halo injured them – did you have something specific in mind or is this purely hypothetical?

      1. This is a good point. The name “freak” accident is exactly the problem, there is no way you can protect the drivers form every eventuality. 2-3yrs ago a GP3 car nearly cleared the catch fencing in Monaco, what is the FIA plans for rescuing a driver from Monaco harbour or the St Lawrence seaway? If you go full cock pit what happens if the car is upside down and on fire?

        The second point of this is that the halo is designed to stop a tyre impacting the drivers head, but have all issues relating to what the most common types of accidents are and the implications of halo? After all would drivers and fans be happy that the safety improved by halo is worth the risk of complicating a current “normal” accident?

        I don’t want drivers killed, but there becomes a point whereby simply trying to eliminate ALL accident types is not achievable. There will always be some risk we as adults accept this, the question is do we think that F1 as it stands today is unsafe, and how do we way the freak accident risks up against the protection required?

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          20th July 2017, 17:35

          I don’t see your point with the cars going into water since the halo is not closed at the top

      2. Mustavo Gaia
        20th July 2017, 14:07

        Anyone who watched “The Jerk”, with Steve Martin, knows the rate of cross-eyed drivers will raise bigly.

        1. That best describes it… an opti-grab :-)

      3. The Massa accident best describes it I think. That bolt could have been deflected towards an unprotected part of the driver.

        But also keep in mind accidents like Alonso’s crash in Australia 2016. He would probably have not been able to crawl out of his car with the halo on it.

        It is an open structure and at some point it might just catch on something.

        1. The Massa accident best describes it I think. That bolt could have been deflected towards an unprotected part of the driver.

          Very interesting you should bring that one up because the spring in question bounced off a piece of cockpit padding which the FIA had increased the size of before the season began. Had they not done that, would the spring have hit Massa at all? Who knows. But there weren’t any court cases after that or people suggesting the cockpit size changes should be reversed. I tend to think the same would be the case here.

          As for cockpit egress, there’s some good answers on that from Wurz and also from Whiting.

          1. They could put some king of super resistant transparent material in the gap between the halo and the car. Making it an hybrid solution with the screen. Maybe only in the front.

      4. Specifically, Felipe Massa’s accident at the Hungaroring.

        The halo could easily deflect a tumbling cylindrical object (ie, a spring) at a downward angle– If that spring had struck Felipe even an inch or two lower, he’d be blind, if not dead.

        What does the FIA do if their safety device ricochets some piece of debris into a driver’s chest?

    2. It may not be that the halo injured a driver but prevented a driver from getting out of the car. As I recall there were questions of whether the halo would prevent a driver from getting out of an overturned car and I don’t remember seeing anything that addressed that concern.
      It may also be possible to have a case where a driver’s arm comes out of the cockpit as the car rolls and it gets crushed buy the halo.

  14. It’s like a supermodel forced to wear sixties-era orthodontic headgear.

    As if someone’s welded a Zimmer frame onto a Jaguar E-type.

    next year every F1 car will be fitted with a safety thong.

    Dig no further. We have hit pure gold already.
    I will spend the rest of my life looking for better analogies on how to describe the halo, and I know already I will be unsuccessful in my search.

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      20th July 2017, 13:09

      Keith went IN. And it was glorious!

      1. @johnmilk @offdutyrockstar Glad you liked them, they were fun to write :-)

    2. Mustavo Gaia
      20th July 2017, 13:33

      do not forget the flipflop design semblance.

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        20th July 2017, 13:48

        This has to be the most accurate thing I have seen on the Halo yet:


        1. Mustavo Gaia
          20th July 2017, 14:04

          surely dizzible.

        2. Omg that’s hilarious. 😂😂😂

        3. Brilliant :)

        4. still has a better power delivery than a Honda

  15. Fukobayashi (@)
    20th July 2017, 13:08

    I really don’t know what to say. Of all the racing series under the FIA why does it have to be F1? We have JUST got back to decent looking cars and now this?

    Why not get a company like Lockheed Martin to properly design the shield, there are materials and methods to counteract distortion (which has only been flagged by 1 driver and not even tested for more than 1 lap). Even use this as an opportunity to thrust F1 into the future with heads up displays and the like, there as so many better ways to approach this.

    I’m not a fan of kneejerk public reaction but I can’t see myself retaining my Sky Sports subscription if you can’t even get a decent onboard view anymore. The entire product is compromised by this.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th July 2017, 14:00

      @offdutyrockstar I agree about that – they should put bids out for design ideas, review them and then build a prototype based on the ideas.

    2. @offdutyrockstar

      I responded to a post farther up, but I think the simple reason this wasn’t done in lower classes is because it is driven by insurance and sponsor money. So there is no one fighting for it in lower categories.

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        22nd July 2017, 12:26

        @slotopen I guess that makes sense, thank you.

  16. I think it is a bit of a shame and not quite fair that you compare the real world Halo with some renders of futuristic looking cars to show “what could be done” @keithcollantine.

    While they all look great, none of those renders would actually make it to a car on track for safety reasons. Afterall, the Red bull screen was too “tight” around the driver, even the second, widened version was deemed too tight.

    A real life closed cockpit on an F1 car would look either like something on an F16 jet (but smaller, making for exactly the same issues Vettel cited with the shield, but mangified by being all around them), or even worse, it might resemble more what we got on the DeltaWing once that had to get a closed cockpit to fit LMP rules (see Deltawing).

    Compared to that, I really don’t think the Halo looks that horrible, provided teams integrate it in their liveries.

  17. Bottom line – if it saves even 1 life, it’s justified.

    You never know what’s around the corner. There was 1 race last year where I think Hulkenberg missed a bouncing tyre to his head by less than 20cm. I was frightened by the thought of what could have happened.

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      20th July 2017, 13:53

      That’s the thing though, would Alonso have been able to slip out of the mangled wreckage of his McLaren in Australia 2016 if there was an additional bunch of scaffolding encompassing him? I’m really not sure and shudder to think.

      1. @offdutyrockstar I saw it mentiond in an article a few months ago saying that they have run test’s with a car on its side in a similar way to Alonso’s from Melbourne last year & found that the Halo would not have hindered him getting out.

        1. Fukobayashi (@)
          20th July 2017, 14:28

          @stefmeister I don’t buy that sorry (I know you’re just relaying a report so no slight intended in you). Every part of that car was a twisted mangled wreck, the chassis near enough bent from the impact. I’m no structural engineer so I can’t say definitively but a bunch of tubing near and around his head like I said, it makes me shudder.

          1. I’m no structural engineer

            But even so you disagree with those who have actually investigated the issue? Presumably you have done no research or investigation into the matter yourself? Just used your many many years of not being a structural engineer to decide that the people actually investigating this are wrong?

            Every part of that car was a twisted mangled wreck

            It wasn’t, check the pictures post accident.

            the chassis near enough bent from the impact

            Chassis was not bent. This is again easily verifiable.

            The bits of the car designed to absorb crash energy and crumple/break did so, the bits that weren’t (like the survival cell) didn’t. Please explain why you think the Halo would be any different?

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th July 2017, 13:54

      @ho3n3r yeah but it might also cause more accidents due to visibility issues. All it takes is one second not to be able to focus on the object ahead as it passes from one side of the halo to the other.

      1. Luckily most drivers have 2 eyes, so they will be able to see 100% of objects ahead of them anyway – hold something up ahead of yourself to see what I mean.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          20th July 2017, 14:16

          @hon3r3r I’m not sure about that – I just held something as far from my eyes as possible that’s about an inch thick and it wasn’t easy seeing the rest of the world around the object. I had to focus to the left or the right of it.

          When I held it in front of an object, while I could theoretically see the objects behind, I wouldn’t say it was clear at all. I have good vision.

          What it really does is create 2 windows that drivers will look through so they’ll be focusing on one side more than the other. They’ll be looking at the left window then switching to the right window. The problem with that is that while you can see things in the right window while focusing on the left, your brain does a lot of the seeing itself and creates things that are not always correct or “there for that matter”.

          We’ll see more accidents under tense conditions and I think the stewards will have to be ultra-forgiving since it wouldn’t necessarily be the driver’s fault – he just happened to rely on the “false” information provided by his brain in many circumstances.

    3. ‘Bottom line – if it saves even 1 life, it’s justified.’

      That phrase is so overused and completely wrong. Let’s take it further:

      F1 cars shouldn’t be allowed to go over 30mph because…Bottom line – if it saves even 1 life, it’s justified.
      All cars should be banned from the roads because…Bottom line – if it saves even 1 life, it’s justified.
      Nobody should ever leave the house to do ANYTHING because, yep, you guessed it…Bottom line – if it saves even 1 life, it’s justified.

      What a load of depressing crap. Humans are risk takers by nature. Racing drivers take that to a new level by choice.

      1. +1

        Stop with the “if it saves just one life”.

        1. Agree.

          But…if it saves just one lawsuit, it’s worth it.

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th July 2017, 13:50

    The introduction of the Halo made a week after Silverstone broke the news that they won’t be renewing.

    I don’t mean to start a conspiracy but does anyone know any octogenarian Brits with ties to the FIA who would be delighted to create trouble for the new owners?

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      20th July 2017, 14:29

      Some serious straw clutching there my friend!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th July 2017, 14:42

        Lol, we all know he’s up to something:) it’s just a matter of what

  19. Evil Homer (@)
    20th July 2017, 14:26

    Many good arguments for & against, as always.
    @girts speaks of valuing human life – of course we do but its obvious to see a few in this world don’t – but I don’t think that applies to F1F’s – but F1 is the safest motor sport in the world.

    As @ben-n says, it would not have saved Jules – all evidence shows he didn’t slow down when he should have & you don’t put heavy machinery on a race track with fast cars- a big mistake that cant be repeated!

    A halo would not have prevented my (and many others) hero in Ayrton, yet a simpler tyre wall probably would have. Not too hard to do hey!!! (FFS)

    This is F1- its fast, crazy and sometimes dangerous – but can anyone actually tell me one incident that this may have prevented??

    Also the majority of the drivers voted against this- if the VERY PEOPLE that race and risk their life don’t wont it, why introduce it – its madness and Jean Todt at his worse……. only negative for F1, and the sport not doing so well already……..

    No Halo, let the guys go racing – its F1, not bumper cars!

  20. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th July 2017, 14:27

    Just curious – what are the racing helmets made of? Is there room for improvements in the helmets against low weight or sharp debris which the halo doesn’t offer much protection against anyway?

    The Halo would protect against a tyre or another vehicle major body part.

  21. Something i’d like to point out is that the Halo that was seen on cars through last year will NOT be what the final version will look like. What we saw on cars last year was a bolted on mock-up to test things like visibility & give drivers an idea on what it will be like.

    The Halo we see on all cars next year will be integrated into the design of the cars, They will be sleeker & should blend into the cars a lot more than the bolt on version seen so far.

    For example look at the Mercedes render of a more integrated Halo:

    Still doesn’t look great but looks better than the mock-up version that was been tested through 2016.

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      20th July 2017, 14:32

      Aside from this years cars which look great due to broad dimension changes and better proportions, have the FIA successfully in their first or even second iterations eliminated thumb noses? T wings? monsterously overbearing front wings? I don’t have much faith that the first iteration will be much better than those hideous test versions i’m afraid, they aren’t so great at the details.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th July 2017, 14:37

      That’s an interesting design – would offer protection against large objects.

      I wonder if they could make the central support out of bulletproof glass, or the whole thing…

  22. “It’s like a supermodel forced to wear sixties-era orthodontic headgear. As if someone’s welded a Zimmer frame onto a Jaguar E-type.”

    Keith, you deserve a beer/pint of lager for this one :)

  23. Here’s my idea. Introduce this kind of roll-cage:
    (I apologize for forgeting which of you guys is the author of the picture)

    It looks awesome: it makes the car look aggresive and racey, doesn’t obscure the view in any significant way.

    AND, if it makes it harder for for the driver to get out… ADD A DOOR! Cars have doors.
    Yes, if we’re changing the paradigm, then let’s change it well.
    And a door would be invisible when closed anyway.

    1. Please. As if the halo isn’t hideous enough.

    2. Why do we even have to introduce anything? Formula One is safe enough; there is no need to address hypothetical and highly improbable scenarios through implementation of hideous solutions.

    3. Well, that’s more like what I imagined when the halo idea was first floated, though it would look better with more curved lines…

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      21st July 2017, 12:11

      I really like this @damon. At least it looks pointy and not tacked-on. If you squint a little it even looks like a good integrated canopy solution.

  24. My money is on one of these devices breaking and causing serious injury before anyone is actually saved by a halo.

  25. https://www.change.org/p/federation-internationale-de-l-automobile-do-not-introduce-the-halo-safety-device-in-formula-one

    If you are against the halo, sign the petition and let Formula 1 know. The more people sign it, the more they will be forced to overthink their decision.

  26. Legal ramifications. What ramifications?

    Well Halo is nice to have. I bet Roll hoops looked stupid first year, now they fit the cars perfectly and we like them fine.

    This is essentially a roll hoop infront of the drivet.. In few years once they make it prettier we wont mind them.

  27. Evil Homer (@)
    20th July 2017, 15:17

    Moto GP starting to look better for entertainment – and a third the price of F1 too.

  28. Andrew Purkis
    20th July 2017, 15:30

    Motorsport is Dangerous

    its says it at every circuit and ticket ive been to

  29. If they want the drivers to be save, than take them out of the car and make it remote controlled.

  30. Throughout a 67-year history, there have been several instances in which a driver driver sustained head injuries due to hitting an object. Namely:

    Ayrton Senna in 1994 (debris pierced visor)
    Helmut Marko in 1972 (stone pierced visor)
    Felipe Massa in 2009 (impact caused by detached spring)
    Alan Stacey in 1960 (impact with a bird)
    Vittorio Brambilla in 1978 (impact with detached wheel)
    Tom Pryce in 1977 (impact with a fire extinguisher)
    Mark Donohue in 1972 (impact with a pole)

    Out of 24,000 Formula One Grand Prix entries there have been 7 instances of head injuries sustained due to impacts with objects. In an optimistic scenario, the Halo would have potentially prevented 3.

    We are at a stage where drivers drive the safest cars in the history of Formula One, around oceans of painted tarmac. We have reached an unfortunate point where a bus ride around the city imposes more risks than driving a Formula One car.

    1. Mustavo Gaia
      20th July 2017, 18:33

      add Helmut Marko

    2. We have reached an unfortunate point where a bus ride around the city imposes more risks than driving a Formula One car.

      Yes it’s really unfortunate that F1 drivers aren’t more likely to die during a race weekend. If only we could go back to the good old days.


  31. This is my compromise. Life is about compromise, I’ve learnt that over the years.

    1. Hey @john-h! I addressed your previous idea a bit earlier in this thread! Look up to “20th July 2017, 14:44”.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      21st July 2017, 2:35

      @john-h oh no! Sainz has turned into the Real Hulk!!

      I’m not sure he really needs any safety gear:-)

  32. Halo? Ok, less money for driver. In that case, all the driver won´t want the halo

  33. Surely drivers sign waivers when they race in f1 to indemnify the sport against being sued.

    In anycase, I think this raises a broader issue of F1s ongoing involvement with the FIA. If F1 wants to start generating the sort of revenue that, dare I say, NASCAR generates then they need to consider divorcing itself from the FIA and implement its own governance, decision making and safety arrangements.

    F1 does not need the FIA.

    1. You cannot ‘sign a waiver’ to resign a legal right to redress, no court would uphold it.

      1. Depends what jurisdiction you are in. If a driver dies racing they don’t have an right to sue unless they can prove negligence in the administration not following local statutes.

  34. Pierre Racine
    20th July 2017, 18:46

    There have been F1 races without a halo cockpit for decades, what’s next? Airbags? Stereo music maybe, playing Mozart… to calm down the video playing ” so called drivers.

    Or autonomous racing cars maybe? Yeah, good idea, you could save on drivers salaries!

    Seriously the “sport” is now beyond ridiculous… This is not F1, this Formula Pampered…

    1. Actually, I’m a bit sad we don’t see more road relevant safety tech in F1.

      I think racing would be better if they allowed computer control/ABS on the rear during to make the blending of the energy recovery system and breaks more straight forward.

  35. I’m still generally irate at the massive misunderstanding so many have about the HALO system. It is designed for IMPACT. It is not designed to stop small object intrusion. I’ve seen many discussing Massa’s and even for some reason Senna’s accidents as a point of note. These have nothing to do with the design case use. These are to stop vehicle and large object impacts. Tires, cars, poles, walls, and sadly as we know too well tractors and lorrys. We have lost people in the racing industry due to these items in many series, in top race events and lower formulae. It is good that this is finally enacted. Enclosed cockpits are unlikely for many series for quite some time, but the HALO will give a good roadmap for many to follow through and upgrade safety for many many drives. Thank you GSPD and FIA.

  36. Like I said in the other article, here we go again…

    Another 3 months of halo opinion articles incoming. I wonder if the only reason they held off the introduction is because it generates easy headlines and interest.

    Seeing the comments go around in circles is depressing. There is no reason to open it up for debate again, the plan was always 2018 pending tests of a screen alternative.

  37. Just a thought here folks…and you won’t like it, but if Bernie was still in charge, he’d have made this all quietly go away. Be careful what you wish for.

    1. Bernie was just the ringleader of the clowns at the circus. All the clowns ran rings around him. He couldn’t do much other than decide where the show went… (and do his own clowny things like elimination qual)

    2. Bernie was the commercial rights holder. Nothing to do with the sport’s administration, thank goodness.
      As much as he billowed and blustered he couldn’t completely alter the FIA’s decisions much either in the days of Mosely or latterly Todt. What he did do was to influence those decisions to the (almost exclusive) benefit of FOM. But in this case, Bernie would have been advised by his lawyers that the legal argument would be set and match against them.
      Just imagine this scenario-
      “Mr Todt, you were advised that there was a potentially lethal threat to the drivers under your organisation’s care, and that a credible solution named ‘Halo’ was available to be introduced in the 2018 season”
      “That is correct.”
      “But you and your organisation did not require the ‘Halo’ to be adopted. Why was that?”
      “Because the fans and drivers did not wish it.”
      “And so in the 2018 season A. Driver lost his life because of your reluctance to introduce a safety measure that you had been advised to introduce, because of the feelings of your sport’s supporters. Is that correct?”
      “It would seem so.”

      Let’s hope this particular scenario never plays out. But I hope you can see the problem that the FIA finds itself in. Unless they are seen to do everything reasonable to mitigate the risk to drivers in every one of their formula they will be at risk of crippling litigation.

  38. The logic about lawsuits is stupid. MMA and Boxers have died recently, are they suing? Are they putting cages around their heads? NO. The fighters know what they are doing is dangerous. If you want to drive F1 or open cockpit cars you should sign a document saying you waive liability. Simple as that.

    This *%&)ing Halo is nonsense

  39. I’m just left with so many questions and wonder if they are looking at all of the alternatives. Does the answer only lie in some sort of cockpit protection?

    Are they looking at strengthening the wheel tethers? Are they looking to strengthen the helmets? Are they looking for ways to develop body parts that disintegrate and shatter more than they currently do? Typically a view from all angles gives you better results and helps find the root cause of the issue.

    As a side note, when I view the concept car above I wonder, what happens when a tire suffers delamination? This is something that has been more of a problem for several years now. I see a lot of debris being spewed who knows where causing potential damage of unknown proportions. Granted I understand this is a concept only, but are they thinking of these possibilities?

  40. H Desjardins
    21st July 2017, 0:39

    While I’ve followed F1 for decades, the Halo and the rationale behind it are yet another (good) reason for F1’s continued decline.

    Racing is inherently dangerous. It is impossible to eliminate all risk, and to attempt to do so denigrates the sport. Every possible scenario cannot be accounted for. The only possible way to achieve total “safety” is to remove the drivers from the equation.

    Lastly, I offer up MotoGP. Speeds are nearly equivalent to F1 (on straits 210mph is not uncommon, cornering g’s are less due to traction), yet the riders have no monocoque protective “cocoon”, safety belts, extra bracing etc to protect them.

    When things go wrong, the risk that a MotoGP pilots helmeted noodle is going to interface with the track surface are exceedingly high. Happens all the time. And yet they race. And with an ever improving and acceptable safety record. Yet unfortunately riders die.

    Such is the nature of the game. Following F1’s logic, motorcycles could be made far more stable (hence safer) if only they weren’t prone to falling over. Yet I’ve not heard from MotoGP’s powers for a call to add a pair of wheels to address the issue….

    Maybe Liberty Media should consider replacing the overpaid and obviously overwrought F1 stars with 20 MotoGP or WBSK pilots……they seem to know what racing’s all about. And are willing to just get one with it.

  41. I’m sorry, but it infuriates me when bianchi’s accident is used as a reason to bring in the halo.
    It seems that everyone has forgotten the fact that he struck a tractor that simply shouldn’t have been there. The virtual safety car was a brilliant idea, and would prevent a similar accident like that happening again, but to me, the halo would prevent freak accidents, like an errant tire. Bianchis crash wasn’t a freak accident, it should have been prevented, and shouldn’t be used as an argument for the halo.

    1. Agreed 1000% and also it does nothing to stop accidents like what happened to Massa in 2009. I still cannot believe that the real cause of the accident has still been brushed under the rug..It wouldn’t have mattered if he had hit what is literally just a construction vehicle at a slower speed. That thing had no place on a race track in those conditions let alone on the run off area where a car had just aquaplaned off moments earlier..And exact same scenario had happened multi times over the last few decades, it was literally an accident waiting to happen.

      Also are they even testing the halo for events like what happened to Jules? I mean that’s the one type of crash F1 cars really aren’t designed to deal with. I can’t imagine the halo would hold up in that kind of crash..Even if the halo didn’t deform, surely the bodywork/structure of the car would give away and compromise it under that amount of pressure?

  42. February, 2018 —

    Someone’s going to run a duct through that and leak airflow onto the engine cover to somehow make up for the loss of the sharkfin.

  43. At risk of derailing the comments, would this be a good time to mention that the Bianchi litigation got settled a couple of months ago?

    Returning to the premise of the article: If the FIA introduces the Halo and a driver gets injured or killed that wouldn’t have done otherwise (entirely possible despite the FIA’s protests), then the FIA would be litigated against. After all, it is the organisation who introduced the idea against nearly everyone else’s protests. Had it not done so (and the information it’s given out so far suggests that would have been the safer option), then it would have been in less danger of litigation due to having some sort of implicit approval for not introducing Halo.

    The FIA is already indemnified by every participant – up to and including the spectators – in its series under the regulations. It is on every ticket and paddock pass. Had the FIA chosen not to use any frontal protection, indemnification would have happened the moment each driver got their Superlicence and paddock pass information. No additional protection would be obtained by the FIA if it tried using the “additional disclaimer” method.

    However, the biggest danger of litigation remains messing up pre-existing safety regulations. Implicit approval defences only work when the governing body upholds the standards everyone approved in the first place. There are no brownie points for offering a technofix for a safety problem if the technofix itself causes a safety problem, or it is misapplied.

  44. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    21st July 2017, 3:12

    If anything, the Halo has made me read up on the safety measures that exist in F1. If you have time, check this out.


    I had no idea the clothing had to withstand temperatures of up to 800 degrees Celsius (close to Lava) for 11 seconds and is tested for that as it’s made to never exceed 41 degrees Celsius. It’s also breathable:-)

    The helmet contains layers of Kevlar – it has to be light to avoid causing neck injury so they can’t really make it bulletproof (which they would have otherwise).

    F1 also has tremendous safety regulations on track and in the pits.

    Add the super-safe track design, the number of marshalls standing by to assist, the medical staff, car and helicopter and this is an amazingly safe sport. They have top of the line equipment at every race with all kinds of doctors ready and local hospitals are on standby…

    Here’s a funny one – they have divers ready at Monaco:-)

    It’s absolutely amazing the job that they have done to make this sport as safe as it is today. They have really poured as much science into this as in the cars.

  45. If people don’t like haloes, it’s time for the old-fashioned ‘vote with your wallet’ (if you pay a subscription or plan to attend a 2018 race) and ‘vote with your controller’ scenarios. Don’t pay, don’t watch, don’t go. The sport is made what it is by its fans–if the pool of supporters voices its displeasure by noticeably dwindling across all platforms of engagement, this, above every other angle of attack by F1’s fanbase, will force Liberty to stand up, take notice, and act.

    1. Well said man, 2017 is the last season for me. If the halo stays I might as well stop watching F1 for good. Jean Todt, hope you cashed out good on halo, now watch F1 burn and go down in flames ;(

  46. I agree with you on all points Keith. Even after almost 50 years, my hearts still drops when ever I think of how Jim Clark and how such a simple think like safety barriers might have saved his life. Yes, many safety rules, systems and devices compromise some of the entertainment aspect of racing but IMO, only an idiot or a selfish cold heart would begrudge them.

    “It’s like a supermodel forced to wear sixties-era orthodontic headgear.”

    GREAT line ;-)

  47. I think it could look ok. On the Williams they use a white version which matches with the car. It makes it look a little better..that piece needs a little more work to make it look like an integrated part of the car rather than rather than the glass eye that it looks like right now.

    Remember when the cars all had noses like ducks…Thank goodness that’s gone..

  48. BTW I meant Senna and Jules would be annoyed

  49. Fukobayashi (@)
    22nd July 2017, 12:28

    Andrew Benson writes of the Halo that is will look dramatically different when introduced as teams will sculpt aero around and on to it. Has anyone heard anything regarding bodywork restrictions or lack thereof around the device?

  50. ThereYouGoAgain
    25th July 2017, 22:45

    Legal ramifications? Then make them drive the speed limit too.

  51. Well, it was nice following F1 throughout the years. I hope this last year will live up to the expectations at least. From 2018 I might as well watch RC races instead of what F1 is used to be.

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