Lewis Hamilton tries the Halo, Mercedes, Singapore, 2016

“FIA had no choice over Halo” – Wolff

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ executive director Toto Wolff believes the FIA was faced with no option other than to introduce Halo for 2018.

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Were Ferrari the architects of their own downfall at Silverstone?

If there’s no rubber left on the tyre, then pit or face the consequences. Of course the tyre will be susceptible to a puncture if it’s practically down to the canvas.

Not Pirreli’s fault, more Ferrari for pitting so early for the undercut.

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  • 69 comments on ““FIA had no choice over Halo” – Wolff”

    1. Racerdude7730
      22nd July 2017, 0:04

      This is a little off topic but I was reading a story how Honda has come out and said what their issues are and how the could not test these things on a dyno. This is why we need to drop the idea of no inseason testing. Teams should have a set amount of privet real world test days on top of the scheduled tests. A lot of teams could make up a lot of ground and not be spending millions on sims that don’t work. I say give each team 12 test days. With testing Honda may have been able to work out a lot of their issues. It’s ridiculous they can’t real world test bc you can’t simulate g forces on a dyno

    2. When it comes to the halo let’s try and forget about it for now and enjoy the rest of the last true f1 seasons. I see problems arising from the halo once ran in the race so I could see them being removed or something different being made. Let’s see what happens.

    3. “Palmer burn the unlucky underpants”
      He will be using one over his head next year because Halo has a similar shape as a thong.

    4. I struggle to understand what happened with the shield!?

      It had one run. A couple of laps with Vettel and that was it. Why wasn’t anyone else give the chance to try it!?

      1. The shield as tested seems to have problems with the screen’s curve distorting the view. F1 could have paid some optical engineers to sort it out when developing the shield, or they could modify existing canopies like those used on fighters or Unlimited Hydroplanes. Instead, they chose neither because I guess they just assumed they were experts at everything. So now they have to re-sign the shield, but it’s too close to next season for all the teams who are already finalizing their 2018 cars to wait. So we’re stuck with the Halo next year, and we all have to hope the shield gets engineered correctly before 2019.

        1. Moose, I understand that the shield was in fact produced by an aerospace company and was a modified version of the cockpit covers they usually produce, so they did try exactly what you are suggesting they should have tried.

          1. Anon: I quite like Moose’s explanation better, like there’s a whole department of little gnomes in “F1” beavering over the design details of minor technical addendums. What will they devise next? I heard a rumour it was an F1 cup holder and they have been speaking to ex Saab engineers for inspiration.

          2. I find this very frustrating and disappointing. Halo seems to have been chosen as the leading contender in a two horse race, with the second horse being chosen because it didn’t have the stamina to finish the race.

        2. I still think they should have let every team try it. It’s like being sat in a restaurant and someone else deciding what you like or don’t like.

          1. There may well be further testing and development of the shield, I have seen mention of planned tests at Monza and Singapore. As the solution chosen to had to be decided now, before the summer break, it clearly was not an option to consider the shield for 2018, even if it had worked well at Silverstone (it was only readt 2 days before the test) it would have needed more testing.

        3. I don´t believe shield entry in F1 in 2019. Halo will continue

        4. I have seen comments saying that in order to make it strong enough it had to be quite a thick material. Ferrari (and the parterns involved in development, this certainly was not a couple of boys hammering together something in the garage) had already seen issues with distortion but decided to make a prototype to give it a chance on track.

          The track test confirmed their fears, so it was aborted for now, because the issues meant that this solution was not far enough developed to be introduced from 2018 onwards.

          For now the FIA and the teams will be focussing on tuning the Halo to be introduced, but I am sure that they will be revisiting other solutions for the longer term.

      2. It’s not ready yet. The FIA had to make a decision – of some sort – now. They can always revisit it when the Shield is more mature technology, in a year or two (though more likely any change will be dependent on a change in FIA president).

    5. I’m quite surprised this piece from Will Buxton didn’t make it into the round-up, so I’ll link it here as I think it’s well worth a read. Given that many Halo proponents are quick to dismiss all opposition as being based on aesthetics it’s good to see a skeptical take that avoids completely the topic of how it looks.

      “2017 is election year. Todt, a President who has based his entire leadership on road and race safety, seeks re-election for a third term in an office he pledged to only occupy for a single term. Formula 1, the crown jewel in the FIA’s sporting roster, has at its helm new owners with some very new ideas on how the sport should be run and the direction in which it should be taken.

      It would be awful to think that either of these factors would have had any bearing on the FIA’s sudden and quite extraordinary show of power at the Strategy Group on Wednesday”


      1. Brilliant article.
        Halo is an atrocity.

        1. War, rape, murder are atrocities. This halo is just an attempt to improve safety that has upset the aesthetic sensibilities of some. It will change, things always change, we don’t always like it but we can’t stop the world.

        2. @edmarques, I’m not so convinced that it is as good an article as you think, because I have noticed a few errors in it – Buxton claims that Red Bull’s “aeroscreen” was dropped on aerodynamic grounds, but most reports suggested it was because it failed the impact tests it was subjected to.

          1. Anon, if the aero issues hadn’t emerged, Red Bull would probably have made an attempt to upgrade Aeroscreen to pass the impact tests that were failed. But the aero issues emerged, removing the reason Red Bull had advocated so hard for it in the first place. So both explanations are true, but each only tells part of the story.

            1. @alianora-la-canta, the thing is, I’ve not seen any reports of aero issues prior to this article – Buxton is the first person I’ve seen claiming that there were these “tremendous” aero issues, whilst simultaneously failing to refer to any of the problems that solution had when it was being crash tested.

      2. @ads21 Fantastic, thanks! I do wonder why it’s not in the round-up. Halo is a monstrous mistake that will create more problems than it solves. And Todt is a smelly piece of you know what…

      3. @ads21 Thanks, I had seen that piece, it isn’t in the round up because I’m not sure of the accuracy of one part of it and I’ve sent a few enquiries to try to clear it up.

        1. Yeah I have several issues with the article too. Where he loses credibility to me is early on when he tries to claim the halo would only be effective 17% of the time. He fails to point out that is for small debris which I don’t recall was ever the real concern. You can’t tell me that the halo hit 100 times by a tire would only protect the driver 17 times. I would think it would be a number more close to 100% of the time. He also tries to claim the experts weren’t consulted. So who actually has designed and built and attached these different iterations for testing? High school kids doing an extra curricular project?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer not to have the thing either, and would welcome no change or something that looks better, yet I would think that if a shield or cockpit cover were so easy to make functional and aesthetically pleasing then why would FIA not pursue that? I have yet to hear of one single solution to keepIng a full screen clean without a wiper blade, for example. Isn’t it odd that someone like TW will give his opinion that he thinks FIA have no choice etc but yet isn’t exactly taking the opportunity to say things like we know exactly how to implement something that would be better and aesthetically pleasing as well. Why? Because they don’t. Not without completely changing the face of F1 cars as we know them. Oh he and the teams may come up with something in a halo that is more pleasing than the iteration tested, but that still won’t be a screen or an enclosure.

          The only better feasible option to the halo is to do nothing at all. I’d be fine with that, but that doesn’t seem to be on. Meantime, I’d like Buxton et al to suggest how he thinks a screen can work. Oh, I’m sure he’ll say he’s not the expert. Exactly.

          1. Interesting too how different Benson’s take on the halo is, with suggestions there is much more support within F1 than Buxton admits, for example. That it’s been tested enough…that it was never for small debris as that was not the concern…that the final product the teams implement will blend in with the car moreso than we have seen.

            I don’t believe for a second that Buxton doesn’t care about the aesthetics. I think that is the overwhelming stumbling block to the vast majority, and we haven’t even seen what teams’ versions of it, incorporated/blended on their cars that will now be designed for it rather than having it slapped on, will look like.

            1. @robbie Buxton opens with a claim that it’s not about aesthetics, but he soon slips up a few paragraphs later making it clear that it’s the only issue that he has with it.

              Unfortunately, the sleek Mercedes idea (BOTTOM) was bastardized by the governing body; the rudimentary construct that eventually saw its way to being tested in the real world


              Thus the lumpy hoop we now know as Halo, rather than the intelligently considered, aero efficient concept first released to the world in renders two years ago, is what we have to put up with

              In other words, he has no interest in whether the Mercedes concept has been improved for the purposes of safety, all that concerns him is that it doesn’t look as good, revealing where his real issues lie. That article, and the author, completely lack any credibility.

            2. Unfortunately Benson’s article has accuracy issues of its own, attempting to assert that the GPDA said it was in favour of Halo, when it’s well-known that GPDA reception is mixed, as well as the claim that Halo considerably reduces debris risk – even the FIA only claimed 17% improvement, which cannot be characterised as a considerable reduction – and that, if its own descriptions of testing are anything to go by, involved not testing certain scenarios.

              I think this is going to be a classic case of pieceing together what is going on from many different sources due to none of them being 100% reliable.

      4. @ads21 (and @edmarques, @johnrkh, @alianora-la-canta, @montreal95, @robbie, @jerseyf1) Just to follow up on this having heard back on a few enquiries, as I suspected the reference to the “17%” statistic in this article isn’t right. It says the FIA claims Halo is supposed to be 17% better at deflecting debris, whereas what the FIA has actually said is it’s 17% better at deflecting small pieces of debris. That is in addition to Halo’s intended function of deflecting large pieces of debris.

        It’s worth nothing it’s not just this article which hasn’t got this right. If you go back to Lewis Hamilton’s comments on Halo last year he referred to the 17% figure in the same incorrect way.

        I hope that clears things up.

        1. @keithcollantine I have to admit that I don’t generally class large isolated chunks as “debris”, rather as whatever item they are (a wheel, bodywork…). Though strictly speaking large items are, indeed, debris. You are correct to clarify the distinction because the large debris deflection count is 100% up to the designed testable maximum of 15x a car’s weight. So far, the only reason I’ve seen to query that part of the figure is that the FIA has contradicted itself on an unrelated element of Halo’s safety abilities (namely, its egress statistics).

    6. So, if Haas are keeping Grosjean for next year and Magnussen has a contract too for 2018, and Kimi decides to retire, then will we see Perez in a Ferrari and a Romain Grosjean suicide with a Haas brake disc?

      1. Haas knows nothing. He will do what Ferrari will tell him to do

      2. @godoff1 I honestly think Perez isn’t even looking or considering Perez. You might think that’s unfair but Perez has never been a teamplayer, isn’t that consistent or that particularly fast. There’s better alternatives on the grid with more potential.

        1. How much do those alternatives cost? Is either of those alternatives more or less willing to play chicken in a one rooster pen?

          Going by @keithcollantine ‘s star rankings, it’s only Hulkneberg and Pérez who have performed sufficiently well. I see one reason why Ferrari should drop Raikkonen, and that’s because they’d let Stupid Sergio meddle with the team.

    7. Michael Brown (@)
      22nd July 2017, 3:49

      Halo is in because the FIA have been dilly-dallying over cockpit safety since 2009 and have not done anything since. Halo is what they give us after years and years of research.

    8. Surprising to see Haas confirm both drivers for 2017 so early. I have a feeling they’re doing it as a way to keep them motivated. If true though, it would leave both Giovinazzi and Leclerc out in the cold. The chances of either of them getting a Ferrari seat next year is zero, so the only way they could get a race seat next year is if Grosjean goes to Ferrari and his seat opens up. Sauber is a big question mark, and I’m not sure if Ferrari could leverage with Force India (failed it with Bianchi in 2013), even if they open up a seat there by appointing Perez. I have the sinking feeling that we may well have seen Giovinazzi’s last F1 race.

      1. Gene Haas has left a door open for Gros too sign for Ferrari.

        1. That sounds logical. They probably owe Ferrari a lot, so a driver transfer would help to reconcile their account.

        2. Why would Ferrari sign Gros? They already have a moaner .

    9. Whilst I do not want to seem disrespectful to Mark Gallagher, I do think that he is being a little economical with the truth when discussing Cosworth’s performance in the V8 era.

      With regards to the power output claim – claiming they had the second most powerful engine – I can’t help but feel that he is hiding the fact that, whilst the engine might have been fairly powerful when new, Cosworth admitted that the CA 2010 series engine did suffer from a higher drop off in peak power with wear than their rivals (with the rate of power drop off increasing even further once they went past 1600km). Perhaps they came off the bench as being the second most powerful engines, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they fell behind their rivals as engine wear increased.

      1. Their engines were also quite bulky, if I remember correctly.

    10. Lol at Kvyat, russian torpedo as measured with his words as with his racing moves.

      Funny how a guy who beat Daniel Riciardo often cannot get his act toggether.

      Red Bull has him on roster simply because their juniors are still not up to the job.

    11. So what happens when a death occurs because of the Halo?? IE . Car rolls into gravel and driver trapped… 🔥 🔥
      They need to test all scenarios 1st before jumping in…

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        22nd July 2017, 10:11

        Gravel? What gravel?

      2. Drivers will not get trapped in the car by the halo if they are flipped over, tests have proved this already.

        1. Yes, and cars will not catch on fire if they do not crash or there are no technical issues with the car… So nothing to worry about then o_0

          When a car flips and catches fire: a) the marshals have to get to the car which can often take 30 seconds or more. b) the marshals have to put out the fire which can take a lot of time and there is no guarantee that an extinguisher is likely to even reach all areas of a flipped car – such as the cockpit or all of the engine cover. c) the car needs to be flipped over which is no easy task when the car doesn’t have clear leverage points or you don’t have a dozen marshals or more to flip an 800kg car which means you need a crane and we’ve seen how long the crane can take to get to the car in places like Canada.

          Then the driver has to get out with a cage around him…

          1. Now @guybrushthreepwood, I don’t mean to completely ignore your point. But fact is, that the scenario you mention is explicitly one that the FIA considered and simulated (as they mention in their reasoning, go read the article) and they tested how to get out in a situation like Alonso ended up in last year.

            They found that 1.) it was quite possible to get out of the car, 2.) the Halo actually helps prevent the car digging into a gravel trap, because instead of just the roll bar, it has the Halo to keep the drivers head clear of the ground and 3.) the extra time needed was considered to not be too big a risk, because of modern fuel tanks that have far more safeguards against catching fire/blowing up (they are explicitly tested for that purpose, you know) than in decades back. Not to mention that cars themselves already have fire extinguishers on board too below the engine cover, precisely because it is hard to get there with an external one.

            And yes, even now, because of less risk of fire, in such a situation (car being upside down) the protocoll ALREADY is to flip the car over, so that would not be a change at all.

    12. I’m out…. 2017 is the last for me. I personally hope this cripples / destroys F1. That would make me smile… Sounds rather petty but consider it revenge for destroying my image of F1. Safety has gone too far…. Not only in F1 but also in everyday life. These cars may as well be remote controlled in my opinion. Danger is quantifiable… and this has gone waaaaayyy over what is needed for fair balance between safety and what makes F1 appealing. Obviosly these are my personal feelings but I don’t care for anyone else’s. Just hope that enough people feel the same so that the FIA feel some serious financial pain over this.

      1. You’ll be back. We all go through this and we always come back.

    13. Fukobayashi (@)
      22nd July 2017, 12:24

      How Kvyat is in F1 over Jean Eric Vergne I have no idea. It’s not just his recent driving, the guys whole attitude, lack of accountability and sense of entitlement just stinks.

      1. Attempt at catching the Russian market. Talented but too inconsistent to be taken seriously. Needs to leave asap

        1. @mayrton, if anything, I would say that Sainz Jr. is the driver with more extensive commercial links than Kvyat, yet nobody seemed to bat an eyelid at Cepsa brokering Sainz Jr’s contract with Toro Rosso (Cepsa being Sainz Jr.’s personal sponsor during his junior career). However, I don’t hear people claiming that Red Bull were “attempting to capture the Spanish market” by signing him…

      2. Jean-Eric Vergne had hit the 3-year mark, and Toro Rosso really doesn’t like keeping a driver for a 4th year. Back then, Daniil Kyvat was a new and shiny driver. And then Pierre Gasly didn’t develop as a driver as quickly as anticipated, so there was no pressure from the junior series for a while.

        The honeymoon has well and truly ended and I think I see divorce papers coming soon.

    14. On COTD, it was, if we believe Pireli, a slow puncture. Shouldn’t it appear on the data?

      Also Kimi had a failure too, what is the cause on that one? Did he stayed too long too? A few drivers had long stints as well without problems. A bit illogical to blame it entirely on Ferrari if you ask me.

      1. @johnmilk, we know that Ferrari did send out a radio call to Vettel warning him that he had a puncture. Whilst we only heard the radio call on the world feed after his tyre failure, the radio transmissions are usually delayed and so it would most probably have been sent to Vettel before it failed, indicating that Ferrari did see something in their data traces.

        With regards to Kimi, they are still investigating his tyre failure – you will have to wait longer to see what happens. That said, the stint length doesn’t seem to have necessarily been the issue, with Kimi having run the softs for 25 laps before they failed – only a lap longer than his first stint on the supersofts, and not as long as some other teams managed their tyres.

        Equally, although Vettel’s stint on the soft tyres was one of the longer stints, Bottas had run his tyres for as long as Vettel had (32 laps) in his opening stint, and Bottas had been putting in some very aggressive laps towards the end of that stint too – meanwhile, Magnussen ran a 37 lap stint on his soft tyres, and his times were still improving right up until his pit stop. That is why a number of people were wondering whether there was something wrong with the way that Ferrari treated their tyres, since they were the only ones with such pronounced problems.

    15. “Yes, but I don’t take that seriously,” Verstappen told Dutch reporters. “Especially not after all the things he did. If you look at the penalty points that he’s got… The fight with Sebastian was good. It was hard but fair, I think. That little bit of contact maybe not, but for the rest everything was okay.”

      Exactly. Vettel seems to lose out when in traffic. Understandably since he won the majority of his races and titles from the front row and has hardly done any real racing. Talented with the car, but just not VER level in traffic

      1. I like both drivers and would just point out that Max indeed has had to have his behaviour corrected by F1 when he was starting to take licence with the concept of moving on someone while they’ve already committed under braking. So he’s no angel either, not that I have a huge issue as it all goes toward hard racing, and every incident or duel is going to have a different flavour to it, or incite differing opinions by the drivers, the stewards, and the fans.

      2. @mayrton You are so funny.
        @johnmilk Is that Lamy on your thumbnail? I agree you can’t solely blame Ferrari for the tyre blow out, sure in spite of bringing only 2 sets of the yellows to the GP, they must’ve realised that the tyre was not holding of well but Pirelli said it would and it was worth the gamble.
        If it had been Mercedes or RB in Ferrari’s situation, they would’ve publicly destroyed the italian tyre maker, so good sport Ferrari.

        On the Halo… no wonder Sherlock Wolff, please tell me more.

        1. @peartree no, but seriously. Seb is talented and fast but go to Youtube and search for his best moments. Lots of celebrations shown but hardly any real racing action as in overtakes or moves (some end of straight DRS moves, mainly on Webber (who he beat fair and square). Certainly given his long career this shows he is foremost a clean road ahead winner. If that suffices, ok. Me personally, I would like to see them earn it.

          1. @mayrton Max’s great, he showed that immediately whe he did some FP sessions for STR back in 2014. We can’t argue however that he’s privileged, he didn’t win a championship into f1 and he’s only won 1 race. I’m sure Max is at Seb’s level yet he hasn’t earned much in f1 but favouritism.

            1. @peartree True. He has lived up to expectations however, especially in Brazil last year and China this year. Even more when you compare him to Stroll (for age comparison). But my point was merely that Seb is in no position to comment on Max when it comes to racing. When it comes to being fast perhaps, but not racing. And moreover and this does apply not just to Max but to any new entry in the sports: never ever listen to the old guys. They are the past, you will create the future

            2. @mayrton Stroll… C’mon that guy has slow written all over him, not like Max, that’s a fast name, Stroll is a walk.

    16. For the last time, Pirelli said the tyres would last way more than what they did, and considering that Ferrari brought only 2 sets of yellows to the weekend you really have to trust Pirelli, finally at that stage of the race nobody would pit unless they had a pit stop in hand.

      1. And they did last, on cars with lesser downforce and lesser problems with the left front. If Ferrari acted responsible they had changed the type before. Now they just gambled on those last laps. The gamble did not work.

    17. Halo or not, the disclaimer remains the same. You drive these cars at the risk of your life. Driving with a crotch in your face just makes F1 look embarrassing.

    18. I’m fine with the halo — if it’s integrated into the car and made to be a functional piece of the body. If it flows, we’ll not notice it in a year. If it’s just tacked on, as now, it will be the death of F1.

      1. Hey Tim, I’m in Canada too. We must know each other then, eh?

    19. Racerdude7730
      22nd July 2017, 18:49

      This isnt in the round up but I was reading this story on a few other sites how Honda has come out and said what their issues are with the power unit and how they could not test these things on a dyno. This is why we need to drop the idea of no inseason testing. Teams should have a set amount of privet real world test days on top of the scheduled tests. A lot of teams could make up a lot of ground and not be spending millions on sims that don’t work. I say give each team 12 test days. With testing Honda may have been able to work out a lot of their issues. It’s ridiculous they can’t real world test bc you can’t simulate g forces on a dyno

      1. The important point was Honda finally admitted there was a problem with their stationary test rig. I’m unconvinced about the claims of not being able to simulate G-forces. I recall NASA had a philosophy of “Test what you fly, fly what you test”, yet this isn’t what Honda did. They tested a prototype “not for flying” engine on the dynamometer with a prototype oil reservoir, which appears to have been successful, but “flew what they didn’t test” and were surprised when it failed. Considering their problems with reliability one would have thought it would have been better to have simulated a few complete races on a race-suitable engine with the correctly designed reservoir. What do Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari do? Considering the reliability of those other engines one can’t but help suspect they do “test what they fly”.
        It is hard to know what to do about in season testing of race complaint engines and hybrid systems on dynamometer. On the one hand I can’t see any problem with it, but in F1 there is always the problem something like this will get out of hand, and before you know it teams are gobbling up millions of dollars on them for little benefit. The other big problem I can see is even if you can’t test an F1 engine, what’s to stop you testing a “not F1 engine”, as Honda appears to have done. Is a next generation F1 engine an F1 engine or simply a prototype racing engine?

    20. There’s always a choice. If FIA wanted to make F1 safer they could say it has to be closed wheel+cockpit. It’s just a question of where the line is drawn with safety over speed and spectacle. The line is shifting a little bit, a compromise, while many are unwilling to see it moved at all. It’s the easy PR placating response to say that they have no choice.

      The question this raises is; if the FIA have to keep making things safer just for the sake of making things safer regardless of how safe they already are, then what will be next? We laugh about drivers wrapped in bubble-wrap, but I laughed at the Halo when first pictures released too…

      1. I think the short answer is that they are addressing one remaining safety aspect, which is vulnerability to the head. The rest of the cars have been protecting the drivers bodies very well. So no, I don’t see bubble wrap in the future. In fact with the halo Intjink they have ‘permission’ to make the cars faster than they have become. I expect they will indeed be faster next year as I expect the tires to be better and other aspects to improve like their PU’s and aero work.

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