Goodbye open cockpits, hello Halo: F1’s ten great watershed moments

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The face of Formula One will change forever after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Open cockpits will disappear and, from the 2018 F1 season, the Halo head protection device will become mandatory. The cars will quite literally never look the same again.

The championship has changed in many profound ways since it began in 1950. Not every watershed moment was recognised at the time for what it was. But from becoming a worldwide championship to ending the tyre war, these moments shaped what the sport has become today.

1960: Last world championship Indianapolis 500

The original world championship calendar of 1950 was, realistically, a six-round European Formula One season with the Indianapolis 500 thrown in. The great American race was run to a completely different set of rules and no F1 drivers ventured across the Atlantic in search of the extra eight points on offer.

But for a few exceptions, this remained the case as the race remained on the calendar throughout the fifties. The championship was slow to expand beyond Europe: Argentina became a fixture after its first race in 1953 but the 1958 season finale in Morocco proved a one-off.

Then as now the United States was the country the sport obviously needed to be in but was struggling to crack. The addition of a proper United States Grand Prix in 1959 was a step in the right direction, and though it took a few years to find a regular home, after 1960 it was clear the Indy 500 was no longer needed to prop up the claim of being a ‘world’ championship.

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1960: Last front-engined win and last 500km race

Meanwhile another profound change was happening in the championship. Several early races had run up to distances of 500 kilometres and could take over three hours to complete. But gradually the series was transitioning towards what we now recognise as a typical F1 race length.

The current upper limit of 305 kilometres (with an exception for Monaco) didn’t arrive until 1989. But prior to that the rules gradually required shorter and shorter races.

The last 500 kilometre race was held at Monza in 1960: 50 laps of the 10-kilometre configuration of the circuit which included the daunting oval. Several British teams were unhappy with the decision to use the oval course and stayed away, handing Ferrari their sole victory of the season on home ground.

Phil Hill’s triumph in Ferrari’s dated 246 chassis was also the last time a front-engined car won a Formula One race. Ferrari had resisted the innovation despite Jack Brabham steering his rear-engined Cooper to championship victory the year before.

1973: Last race with three cars on the front row

A few weeks ago Formula One’s new owners floated the idea of changing the grid format for F1 races. One change could be to allow three cars per row of the grid, something which hasn’t been seen for more than four decades.

Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus and the Tyrrells of Jackie Stewart and Francois Cevert were the last trio of front-row starters in F1 history at Zandvoort in 1973. After that the two-by-two rows we’re familiar with today were enforced at every round.

From 1980 the rows were staggered so that each driver started an equal distance ahead of the next car behind them. It’s been unchanged ever since.

1976: Last race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife

F1 left the dangerous Nurburgring Nordschleife
Safety is the motive behind the introduction of the Halo and the same priority was behind a series of changes to racing circuits in the seventies. However one track simply couldn’t be tamed: Germany’s daunting Nurburgring Nordschleife.

Not that they didn’t try. In 1970, pressured by the threat of a strike from drivers, the race was moved to the Hockenheimring while major work was done to ease the track’s bumps and jumps and install barriers along its 22-kilometre length. The race returned the following year.

But its size and speed meant it remained a uniquely dangerous place to go racing. The sheer length of the track made marshalling difficult and expensive. Niki Lauda’s horrendous, near-fatal crash in 1976 made that clear, and afterwards F1 never raced on the long version of the track again. It sent an unmistakable message that safety was no longer something which could be compromised on.

1976: Last race Ferrari did not enter

With Lauda clinging to life after his Nurburgring crash, Enzo Ferrari initially announced his team would quit racing. Team manager Daniele Audetto urged that the next race in Austria should be cancelled. When it went ahead, Ferrari stuck to their promise not to enter.

It wasn’t until the eighties that teams were required to participate in every round of the championship (with some exceptions, as was the case with Caterham in 2014). Before that Ferrari, well aware they were the star draw, habitually skipped races when suited them, often blaming some kind of dispute with the mechanics.

This proved the final time they stayed away from a round of the world championship. However that hasn’t stopped them from making threats about not participating in order to get their way.

1983: Last non-championship race

Every F1 race has been a championship event since 1983
Today ‘F1 race’ and ‘championship race’ means the same thing. But it wasn’t always the case. After the championship was formed in 1950 many non-scoring races continued and often outnumbered the races which counted towards the title.

However the growing significance of the championship and the increasingly tough requirements for circuits wishing to hold grands prix led to a decline in non-championship rounds. Of the three non-points rounds held in the 1980s, two of those came about due to political rows in the sport (Spain 1980 and South Africa 1981). The final non-championship race was held at Brands Hatch in April 1983, and won by Keke Rosberg for Williams.

Is this another relic from F1’s past which could return? Ross Brawn said earlier this year he would like to run a non-championship race in order to test changes to F1’s race format before introducing them to the championship.

1985: Last race with a three-car team

Along with requiring teams to enter every race, the eighties saw the introduction of rules limiting them to no more than two cars per grand prix. In the fifties and sixties it had been common for the top manufacturer teams to enter four or even more cars for some rounds.

The last teams to show up with three drivers was Renault at the 1985 German Grand Prix. In addition to regulars Derek Warwick and Patrick Tambay in the latest cars, Francois Hesnault piloted a one-year-old chassis equipped with an innovation: an onboard camera. Unfortunately it stopped after eight laps with a dead clutch.

Single-car teams were still allowed until 1990 but since then two-car entries have been the norm. However exceptions to this requirement have been allowed, for example when Marussia were allowed to run a single car at Sochi in 2014 following Jules Bianchi’s crash.

1995: Last race with a full grid

It’s more than 20 years since F1 had a full grid
From a peak of 39 cars in 1989, the rising cost of competing in Formula One plus an economic downturn in the early nineties saw grids shrink dramatically. By 1995 the entry had fallen by one-third, meaning only enough cars were turning up to each round to fill the grid.

With the collapse of Simtek following the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix F1 fell under grid capacity of 26 cars and has never risen back to that level since. The sport’s new owners have said they want new teams to come into the sport but it may take until the technical rules are revised in 2021 for that to happen.

2006: Last race with different engine formats and tyre suppliers

At the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix all eyes were on Michael Schumacher who, on the verge of retiring from F1 for the first time, was striving in vain to prevent Fernando Alonso’s near-inevitable championship triumph. Alonso sealed the title with second place but Schumacher fought a stirring recovery drive to claim fourth.

Schumacher was aided the competitiveness of his Bridgestone tyres. The Japanese manufacturer was determined to win its final battle with French manufacturer Michelin, which had beaten it to the championship silverware for the second year running. It did, courtesy of Schumacher’s team mate Felipe Massa.

Indeed its rubber was so competitive that one of Super Aguri’s four-year-old ex-Arrows chassis finished tenth in the hands of Takuma Sato, ahead of a Red Bull and both Toro Rossos. Sato’s team mate Sakon Yamamoto set the seventh-fastest lap of the race.

The FIA’s decision to move to a single tyre supplier meant this was the final ‘tyre war’ race. It was also the last time different engine specifications competed in the same F1 race. V8s had been mandated for 2006 but Toro Rosso had been given a dispensation to continue using a detuned Cosworth V10. The ten-cylinder wail was gone for good once Vitantonio Liuzzi crossed the line in 13th place.

2009: Last race with refuelling

In-race refuelling was scrapped eight years ago
Teams had been allowed to refuel their cars in the early years of F1. It came back in vogue when Brabham hit upon the idea in 1982 as a means of getting more fuel into their third BMW turbo. Banned after 1983 on safety grounds, 11 years later it was reintroduced in the hope it would ‘improve the show’ – and keep Ferrari happy.

Whether it did or it didn’t is a subject which arouses considerable debate: Cries of ‘bring back refuelling’ from some prompt groans of despair from others. Regardless, it was ditched at the end of 2009 as the expense of hauling refuelling rigs around F1’s increasingly global calendar and those persisting safety concerns had turned enough of the paddock against it.

The final race to feature refuelling stops was the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. When Jarno Trulli left the pits on lap 42 the refuelling hoses were put down for the last time.

The current engine format is wedded to the idea of limiting how much fuel each team can use. That being so, it’s hard to see how refuelling could return to F1 any time soon.

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The Halo will be mandatory from 2018

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

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77 comments on “Goodbye open cockpits, hello Halo: F1’s ten great watershed moments”

  1. You forgot the banning of enclosed wheels and mandatory helmets :D

    1. Not to mention the Halo doesn’t close the cockpit…

  2. Grooved tires and the last race of h-pattern gearboxes (move to sequental paddle shifted gearboxes with no clutch pedal). Another thing that deserves mention is the ban and later re-allowance of team orders. And of course the move from free to air to paid channels.

  3. Feels like a year ago i was watching races with refueling. Can’t realize it has been so long

    1. ^This – I had the exact same feeling when I read that feature.

    2. It feels as if it was a year ago that I was debating the ban on refueling on this very forum!
      I registered here in early 2008 :)) It’s gonna be 10 years soon.

  4. what about aerodynamics? putting a wing on an F1 car was no doubt a watershed moment. changed F1 forever

  5. 2007 Brazilian Grand prix was the last time teams were allowed to provide a spare car (or T-car). Thinking of them always reminds me of that massive pile-up at Belgian ’98 when I was a kid, figuring out which drivers were going to get dibs on the spare cars.

    1. While I didn’t like or want to see multi-car crashes at the start of a race, the drama of who would be able to get back to the pits and into the spare car was exciting.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        20th November 2017, 19:21

        And that race will be celebrating 20 years next year. It is a shame that we don’t have spare cars anymore. I can remember De La Rosa breaking down on the lap to the grid and was a dns as a result.

  6. Jason Blankenship
    20th November 2017, 13:51

    Ugh, this Halo…….I hate it immensely and it’s not even here yet. I’d love to have refuelling come back. The more variables in races the better.

    1. i agree that the more variables the better. but fuel is one of the most predictable things.

      i remember that during refueling, teams knew exactly when their rivals would stop and just waited to pass them in the pit stops. based on the number of seconds the fuel rig was on you knew exactly how many laps that is. almost all strategy was based on it. apart from creating a variable it made the races much more predictable.

    2. +1. I’d also like to see the death of the mandatory two tire compound rule. I think the teams should be free to refuel if they want to, use any tire compound they want and to even use different compounds at the same time. As you said, the more variables the better.

    3. @Jason Blankenship Refuelling was detrimental to on-track overtaking, though.

    4. I’d love to have refuelling come back.

      I wouldn’t, I hated refueling as soon as I saw the affect it had on the racing & was overjoyed when they finally banned it.

      I was fairly open to it when it was initially announced but after a few races in 1994 I quickly noticed that the impact on the racing wasn’t a positive. Yes there were some strategic options that refueling opened up, But it made the thing I care about the most (On track racing) far worse & worse still shifted the primary focus towards the pit lane/fuel strategy & away from the on-track racing.

      I remember back to that 1st race of 1994 at Interlagos & getting excited about the battle for the lead between Senna & Schumacher only for it to be ruined as soon as they stopped for fuel & Schumacher came out ahead & proceeded to run off into the distance taking an exciting race & turning it into one that was quite dull. In previous years they may not have stopped at all so the battle for the lead would have been conducted on the track & Michael would have had to fight hard to overtake Senna on the track, As it was he & the team said afterwards that they told Michael to hold back & not challenge because they were confident they could get him by in the stops & that was something that happened over & over again through that whole era of refueling & I just hated it.

  7. The moment I booked tickets to this race, I realised it would be the end of an era with the introduction of the halo.

    I’d never really had any interest in seeing a V6 Hybrid era race after seeing the British/Monaco GP of 2009, but the fact the Abu Dhabi GP fell on my birthday, and the realisation it would be the final open cockpit F1 race made me realise it would be something a bit special, even if the race will probably leave a lot to be desired!

    1. Good for you. Wish I had gone to see my last race this year…..

      After 2 decades for me F1 is done. I could care less about the noise etc of the current engine formula and in fact I think that F1 must continue down the high-tech road even though I know that this road inevitably leads to electric. What guts me is having to stare at this French abomination that rubs my face in the fact that society is now too precious and risk averse to even allow the very low risk of current F1 open cockpits yet to spineless to admit it (though impressively this article faces that fact head on). It’s disgusting.

      Life is not better if we have bureaucrats making everything safe and sanitized… deciding everything for us.

      Thankfully I’ve been watching more and more bike racing over the past few years. Sometime I wonder why I bother watching the cars follow each other around. MotoGP is exciting and the riders are true sporting heroes. The comparision with F1 is stark.

      Bye F1….it was fun.


      1. Bye. See you next season, I’m sure.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          21st November 2017, 1:50

          Yep. I was one of those who claimed they were going to boycott Abu Dhabi 2014 because of double points. I didn’t, obviously.

          We were so close to two watershed moments recently: double points in the finale and a new qualifying system in 2016.

      2. I’m leaving too mate. Don’t worry. There’s more ballsy stuff out there. Plenty for those who like their sports with some testicular fortitude. They can’t put a Halo on the TT! or MotoGP! Good riddance Wimpula1.

    2. I’m glad I will see the F1 without halo one more time in Abu Dhabi.

  8. A few similar moments:
    – Changing the qualifying format in 2003. During the previous decades, there had been one or two hours in which drivers could go for the best possible lap time. Now it was just a single lap quali. Further tweaks were made during the next few seasons, before the current system.
    – Changing the points system in 2010. While previously there had been a number of differing systems, they still resembled each other quite closely with the winner getting 9 or 10 points. In 2010, that number was increased to 25, “destroying” the statistics.
    – 1982 Dutch Grand Prix (?): the last race to be held on a Saturday; after that every race has been run on Sunday.

  9. anyone else notice the picture in the ‘last race with a full grid’ section the Williams is confused about the direction the race track goes?

    1. Coulthard was sandwiched by both Ferrari’s at the start of the ’95 Monaco GP.

  10. Remember when the cars sounded great.
    Then V6 arrives and everyone comment they are rubbish.
    Even locals and people working near the tracks reminiscent of great engine sounds

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 1:52

      Remember when the cars sounded great.
      Then V8 arrives and everyone comment they are rubbish.
      Even locals and people working near the tracks reminiscent of great engine sounds
      I member

  11. I think it was 1968 when the cars starting running with sponsor’s colours rather than their national colours. that was a pretty huge turning point for the sport.

    1. It was 196 but it wasn’t, as many people think, Colin Chapman and Team Lotus who started this ball rolling. It was local privateer John Love and his “Team Gunston” entry that got us started.

      1. such a beauty!! wings are awful

  12. I can live with the Halo as long as it won’t have any impact on either lap times or the quality of racing. Obviously, I’d rather keep things the way they are, but I’ve already gotten used to seeing it on the cars, so I won’t mind too much as long as the two things mentioned above won’t be affected. Hopefully, in the long-term, they’d resort to either the Shield or the Aeroscreen as they look more fitting on the cars.

  13. The Mercury/Gemini/Apollo accomplishment of landing man on the moon could NEVER have been accomplished in an era where F1 cars are required to have a roll cage.

    1. The roll hoop has been the roll cage for years so either use proper words or try rethinking before you speak

    2. Yep, instead we are headed to Mars. Onward and upward.

  14. Just from the times it’s been run on cars during FP1 sessions over the past year I’ve already mostly gotten used to the Halo & can’t say it overly bothers me anyway because it changes none of the things that really matter to me, Those been the performance of the cars, the spectacle of watching cars of that performance go round the track & of course the racing.

    And to be honest I don’t get the ‘it’s taking away the danger & risk’ argument because it’s not. There will still be risk, F1 will still be dangerous because driving cars at these speeds will always have the element or danger & risk. All the Halo does is improve safety in 1 specific area (Head protection), Just as the raising of the cockpit sides 20 years ago did.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      20th November 2017, 23:18

      I heard there were some responses that raised cockpit sides were like closed cockpits. Hyperbolic, like the article title.

      1. @mbr-9 There were some that were against the raised cockpit sides, I don’t remember the comparisons to closed cockpits been made but I do remember people complaining that it would be harder to see the drivers & make identifying drivers harder due to been unable to see the helmets. And there were also people complaining that they made the cars look ugly, Especially with some of the larger examples seen in 1996 (The Ferrari for instance).

      2. That’s right, but the cockpit sides were smoothed out and looking much better by ’97 or ’98. If different teams produce different looking halos to begin with, they’ll soon be refined to all look the same. And they’ll become a familiar part of the cars, like the assorted hideous wings, noses, fins and narrow tyres we’ve had in recent years. We’ll barely notice them after a few races…

        Driver identification was sorted with bigger numbers this year. On that note, my nomination for a (minor) watershed is…

        2013: Last race with car number 1.

  15. I still wish there was a more aesthetically appealing solution but I understand their reasoning.

    I wonder if we’ll adjust to it or people will long for the days without it and will one day get reverted.

  16. I bet 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix won’t be the last open-cockpit race. Halo is so widely hated even now before it has been even introduced to racing. Liberty Media won’t listen people’s noisy complaints for long. They know what’s good for the sport. It will be dropped during the season. I bet Halo will last 3 rounds, at max.

    1. Much as I wish the halo would dissappear I can’t see it being mid season as the cars are being designed around it so it can’t just be removed, they couldn’t even remove the t wings this year (I have no issue with them, just an example ).

      1. @glynh Teams have easily installed and removed Halo to 2016 and 2017 cars. I don’t think it’s compulsory piece to any car’s structure.

        1. I thought the examples of Halo being used in the practice sessions were trial Halo’s designed to test the aerodynamic and weight effects, simply fastened on with light bolts or whatever, not ones that would actually work.

        2. It actually is. That’s the reason the teams were complaining a while back, because the FIA was taking a lot of time to give them the necessary loads for the design of the new structures, hence compromising the whole design of the car and subsequent deadlines.

        3. @huhhii As @drycrust says the Halo that has been trialed during practice sessions has been a temporary, Bolt on version for testing purposes. The design on the cars from next year will be as integral to the overall design as things like the roll structure are & therefore will not be easily removable.

          I would also think that Liberty & the FIA will be conscious of what will happen should they put it on the cars & then remove it because people don’t like the way it looks only to then have something happen that results in a driver been injured or killed in a way that the Halo would have prevented. That would be a very difficult thing to have to try & defend & I would imagine potentially open them up to legal actions should it happen in the wrong country (Italy for example).

          1. I’m still nervous about what happens if Halo gets put on and it makes an accident worse or kills someone, because the video that was supposed to defend its introduction was so awful that (for me at least) it completely undermined the FIA’s argument about its effectiveness.

    2. I can’t understand why there is such a hatred of protecting a driver. No one complains when drivers put on their full face helmet, at which point you might just be lucky enough to see their eyes when the visor is raised, although usually you can’t because the visor is down, so you don’t actually see the driver at all, you just see their helmet. The driver’s face is completely obscured. No one complained when races were viewed on TVs with PAL 625 lines or NTSC 525 lines format (i.e. about half the lines of the current high definition format). Of course, there wasn’t much other choice then, yet what one saw of their favourite drivers’ helmets then were probably no worse than what we’ll see when the camera “zooms in” on a car next year. I wouldn’t be surprised to find we see more of a driver’s helmet next year even with Halo than we have in the past, simply because of the politics and advances in technology. When you go to a race then you might see even less of the drivers’ helmets than you do on TV, and no one openly complains about that.
      We even have people who watch races “bootleg style”, where the quality is (or was when I last looked) inferior to what Pay TV offers. I’d much rather pay for the superior quality of offered by Pay TV, and yes, there are those who simply have no choice but to watch the bootleg inferior quality TV, but there are also those who can afford the local Pay TV rate for viewing races and yet they simply prefer the inferior quality TV.
      Come March next year there will be cries of despair and anguish because someone won’t be able to see as much of the drivers’ helmet, yet historically this has been normal, and even this weekend a lot of people will, without any compulsion, voluntarily choose to view the race using an inferior quality broadcast. All this argument is about seeing the driver’s helmet, you don’t see the driver themselves at all.

      1. I’m with you. its not such a big deal. lemans cars used to be open, then closed cockpit, and this isn’t even totally closed.. it is still an open wheeler car at least. cars evolve… the problem is when the entertainment is lost.. the new generation of F1 lost a lot of entertainment in the sound department, but with the halo, no entertainment will be lost, just drivers will be a bit safer, so what is wrong with that?

    3. @huhhii you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about i’m afraid.

      1. Liberty don’t decide whether or not to use the Halo.

      2. The Halos installed this far have been bolt on applications without the chassis integration or load bearing characteristics of the finished article. They have been used solely to gauge visibility, aero, extrication and yes, public opinion. They are so flimsy that drivers are apparently unable to even use them to raise themselves out of the car!

      Please do some research.

  17. @keithcollantine, very nicely written article. You brought out the excitement of all the changes.

  18. To me it quite still look like an open cockpit. It is visibly not the case for everyone but I really fail to see a problem with the halo. One can barely see it and over time its design will be refined. People should care for getting rid of DRS instead.

    Halo is a good thing if you ask me. I’ll always have the images of Grosjean’s Lotus sliding at 30 cm of the head of Alonso. Or this Alonso crash against Gutierrez, or Chilton missing Raikkonen tyre not by much. In fact, every time a driver crashes upside-down in an open cockpit series he’s super lucky to escape uninjured, even alive. Halo may not be what could have saved Jules but will definitely save a life at one point. Halo is a reasonable design. Not the prettiest for sure but certainly not a closed cockpit either.

    1. @spoutnik
      Mandating everyone wears a helmet when crossing the street WILL save lives… it’s just not worth it.

      Some of us would rather take measures risks, than live in a bubble wrapped world… it seems so many F1 drivers agree, the FIA has to ask them to be more political.

      I’m against the halo, because it brings out the safety-Steve in everyone. You gotta address risks… but I really don’t see it being needed here.

      Once again, I blame greedy family’s suing race organizers. Jules Bianchi died doing what he loved, the idea of his family suing makes me physically ill.

      1. Yeah, belts also are so useless, helmets and HANS device too, lets remove all those hideous things because hey I want to see people die live on my 4k TV screen. Seriously though putting a 3 poles bar around the head of a driver is not what I’d call safety-Steves in a bubble wrapped world you are making a mountain of a non-event.

        1. it’s the equivalent of jogging in a helmet. That’s the level of over-reach. Heaps of people actually die from tripping over running. Should we make you wear a helmet when you exceed the speed of walking? Harden up princess. Go play tiddly-winks or follow something mote feminine, like netball. Halo has ended my love of F1.

    2. I’m against the current version of the Halo and DRS. It’s possible to be both at the same time, and the FIA and Liberty appear about as interested in removing one as the other.

    3. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 2:10

      It’s really disengenious to be title the article “Goodbye, open cockpits” when the cockpits are still clearly open, @keithcollantine

      1. What are you talking about!? They aren’t open. The drivers are hiding behind their little cages. Open cockpit is dead.

        1. Of course it is still open cockpit. There’s no plexiglass involved and the driver gets in and out the same way. Doesn’t have to open a door or a canopy.

          And…rather than talking about the silliness of wearing a helmet to cross the street, or to jog, think of the number of lives that would be saved if we had to wear helmets to drive our cars? Motorcyclists have to, why not car drivers? Because we’d all have bad hair days? Too inconvenient? Think of the massive numbers of lives that would be saved.

  19. The sport giveth while the sport taketh. To halo with the halo.

    Lets see if the FIA is rich with smarts on this idea. The need makes sence but the solution could have gone a number of ways. A canopy shown a very effective tool in other series and should have been pursued further. Ask Alonso if the canopy on the TS050 presented any issues on seeing. Its canopy is barely bigger than the opening of a modern F1 cockpit. The point is to say that WEC or IMSA Racecars still look pretty cool with their canopies. Again rules will continue to change and this well tested solution called the Halo will potentially only be seen in 2018.


    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 2:03

      But the TS050 has doors. That’s how drivers can escape a flipped car.

      In my view, if F1 wants to go to fully closed cockpits, the cars will need to have side doors. They’ll resemble LMP1 cars in this aspect. I’m fine with this, because F1 is the highest level of single-seater racing. As long as that stays the same, I don’t care if the cockpits and/or wheels are closed or open.

      1. Stay away from bike racing please!

    2. @TEDBELL Perhaps there will be no convincing you considering that you think the canopy Alonso was just under is barely wider than an F1 cockpit opening. That’s just simply incorrect, and is the whole reason they are going with the halo…the whole reason they can’t just slap on a canopy.

      It is surprising to me how people have so little faith that F1 has looked at things such as screens and canopies thoroughly. That the halo is some knee-jerk reaction is false. It is the best solution without wholly changing F1 as we know it. Or they’d do something different.

      Alonso also had doors and a wiper blade beside him and in front of him. So basically F1 would have to turn itself into WEC to achieve a canopy.

      Condensation, cooling, driver extraction, distortion from curvature, cleaning it (wiper blade?), it’s effect on the aerodynamics, the risk of changing completely the essence of F1….these are some of the issues that go way way beyond ‘just slap on a canopy because it looks better than the halo.’

  20. Would Halo save Senna or Bianchi?
    If Lauda was trapped under such device would you believe he survived?

    1. In theory, it could have saved Senna. Whether it would have done in practise is angle-dependent – Halo will block small debris from some angles, funnel it in on others, and make no difference at all from yet others. If Lauda was trapped under such a device, the fact the cars now weigh at least 200 kg more than in his time would probably render the matter moot (since it would take too long to get the machine to the middle of the track, that would be necessary to turn the car back over).

      Even the FIA, Halo’s biggest proponents, specifically state that Halo would have been neither use nor ornament in the Bianchi crash. The solution for that problem is behavioural (ensuring remaining race cars are at a reasonable speed before letting heavy machinery on track, for example) rather than a technofix, given the current level of technology.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 1:58

      Legitimate question: would the Halo have protected de Villota from losing her eye?

      1. Very hard to say or she would be safe or being killed as the halo could defect the lift into her head. Depends on if the front pilon was hit or missed.

        1. The halo is not touted as a device to save all drivers from all accidents. It is meant to save drivers from things like tires and large body pieces like wings, from hitting drivers in the head and killing them, as has happened in open wheel series in quite recent years. Nobody has asked for nor expected the perfect solution, nor is F1 trying to achieve that. The odds of small debris killing a driver are very slim, and drivers going too fast under wet double yellow flag conditions are being handled with the VSC, especially when there is equipment on the track side of the barrier already extracting a car.

  21. Watershed moments

    Ferrari build most reliable engine, FIA skew rules towards reliabilty, Schumacher becomes greatest driver of all time.

    Mercedes perfect the most powerful engine, FIA lock it in with the token system, Lewis Hamilton becomes greatest driver of all time.

    I’ll have the halo all day long if it doesn’t provide false gaps between the drivers.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 1:56

      inb4 the tallest drivers have issues seeing with the halo

  22. When the drivers can afford to have third car in the pits wait for them after some crash somewhere in the track and have to run back take the car and continued.

  23. I hope refueling NEVER comes back. EVER!!

    1. I have seen lots of burning accidents the refuelling of Jos Verstappen was an real scar.

  24. Bye F1. Abu Dhabi is my last race ever. What a shame it had to end this way. Oh well. At least I can finally cancel Foxtel and stop giving my hard earned money to Rupert. Thanks for the memories everyone. I’d say good luck but personally I hope F1 implodes and dies in a fire, #1HaloTooFar Adios amigos.

  25. I’m most interested to see how Codemasters will handle the T-Cam camera angle in F1 2018!

  26. how about last race of 2013… last race with good engine sound.

  27. Next year I have purchased tickets for 3x BTCC races instead of an F1 race, which says it all for me. 2018 will be the first time I don’t attend a GP for 16 years.

    Throughout the last few years F1 has made many questionable changes but they have never really thrown me off (I don’t mind the V6’s because you can hear commentary and chat with your mates trackside), but the halo is just the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. I wish they could’ve adopted the shield!

    I’ll still be “following” F1 (on Channel 4), but I won’t be forking out 300 quid to look at 20 flip-flops in the flesh.

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