Verstappen not looking forward to F1’s “very ugly” Halo

2018 F1 season

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Max Verstappen doesn’t expect Red Bull will have found a way to make the Halo more aesthetically pleasing when it is seen for the first time on its car next week.

“The Halo, that will be very ugly,” Verstappen predicted in an interview (below). “I’m not looking forward to that.”

“But in general I hope the car will look great and hopefully is fast,” he added.

Red Bull struggled in the opening races of last season but made rapid progress with their car as the year went on. Verstappen said he hopes the RB14 is “a good step forward and we’ve got straight away a good car from the beginning of the year that we’re not really chasing like last year.”

The addition of Halo has also increased the weight of the cars, which Verstappen has some concerns about. “It’s definitely not favourable for me,” he said.

“But I’m not going to adjust my training for it because otherwise I won’t feel well during the races. Especially for me being a taller driver and I guess also a bit of a heavier driver than most, it’s not ideal.”

A further change of 2018 is a reduction to three engines per driver for the whole year. Verstappen said this will “definitely be a big challenge” for Red Bull. “Last year we used six. To go from six to three is too hard. Hopefully we will make it. We have to wait and see.”

One of the tracks on the 2018 F1 calendar is a new race venue for the 20-year-old. “Paul Ricard, I haven’t really driven a lot there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to see how that’s going to be. It’s quite close to home as well.”

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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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43 comments on “Verstappen not looking forward to F1’s “very ugly” Halo”

  1. Unless you look through it, you will have to look forward Max

    1. Exactly what I was going to write!.. Great minds think alike.. ;)

      1. @meko1971, @johnmilk

        Great minds think alike, but fools rarely differ. That’s the full proverb.

        1. @flatsix

          “seldom” differ, but what do I know.. ;)

          Joking aside, the halo debate is going on and on and on, mostly thanks to journalists and some F1 fans..
          We all know that the FIA won’t scrap it, so I guess everyone has got to get used to it or just shut up about it..
          I myself barely notice it, and that is before the season even started..

        2. I agree with both of you

  2. I’ve already gotten used to it to be honest.

    I barely noticed it when teams were testing it in practice towards the end of last year & I barely noticed it while looking at some of the stuff from the F2 test thats going on.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      15th February 2018, 16:58

      I’ve gone the other way. I hoped it wouldn’t bother me but it’s all I can see when I look at the cars. It just looks too unnatural to be right. Indy Car haven’t done it any favours either.

      1. You know what, don’t watch races when the season starts. The Halo will be on these cars for this season, and possibly until a better head protection system becomes available that convinces the FIA. Non of us fans wanted it, but it is here. Shall we move on.

  3. Do the new rules for 2018 only allow 3 engines per driver from 6 last year? If that’s the case, then it’s practically absurd and gives the advantage to reliability over performance or skill.

    I can’t see how Honda can exist in F1 given their performance last year – perhaps Liberty can cut them a 1 billion dollar check and escort them off the premises.

    The same goes for the drivers and teams – if a driver is unlucky, his bad luck is compounded by penalties. Where’s the sense in that? One of the worst things over the past couple of years were Alonso’s performances due to penalties.

    Beyond the ramifications that this can bring about, why are they limiting a full season to 3 engines? F1 is about speed and performance – it’s not about having an engine that can run 200,000 which incidentally are almost all Toyotas and Hondas (Consumer Reports).

    What’s next? A 1 engine limit and if your engine dies on the 1st lap at Melbourne, you’re out of that season?

    As ridiculous as this sounds, it sounds about as reasonable as having a 3 engine limit especially for engine manufacturers who have a “bad” engine during the season which was a staggering 50% of manufacturers in 2017 (Renault and Honda).

    Which gets us to the next question – how can these decisions possibly be made? I can see Ferrari and Mercedes jumping up and down as if they’ve won the lottery but the other teams should be screaming “Hell No”.

    But even for Mercedes, Lewis must be thinking what if I get a 2016 season where my car is 300 % less reliable than any other Mercedes-powered car… Bottas is thinking the same cause it would be boot time for him due to car unreliability.

    1. I just realized that Verstappen used 6 last year but the limit was actually 4 (I thought it was 5 but that might be gear boxes or another component).

      Still that number should have stayed the same or gone up, not down given the current engine situation in F1. Making the engine cheaper and increasing the limit – now that would be the most sensible thing to do.

      1. Engines are never going to get cheaper than they already are (do not compare to previous years) as the technology going into F1 are often unfound elsewhere. It requires investment by the engine manufacturer, and they need to recover that with some profit. @freelittlebirds

        1. @hemzshaw That raises a good question.

          Has any engine manufacturer in the history of F1 ever made a profit on selling their engines? Have they managed to do so just by being an engine supplier without owning their own team like Ferrari or Mercedes and without winning the WCC?

          We can look at Renault during Red Bull’s dominance. Was Renault profitable while supplying Red Bull from 2010 through 2013? Those V8 engines were pretty simple to build compared to the new ones or the old V10s and relatively inexpensive/reliable due to the low revs. If Renault didn’t make a profit while their engines won 4 WCCs, then I think profitability as an engine supplier is unrealistic.

          1. I think it is one thing to consider the literal cost of making engines, subtract that from the price you charge and the number you sell, and come up with a figure of profit or loss, but it is much more complicated than that given that all along a brand is getting massive global marketing impact for being in F1, be it strictly as an engine supplier, or as an actual team. Hasn’t it been said that Mercedes gleens about a billion dollars a year in marketing value from being in F1? Makes the money they get direct from F1 based on their performance look like peanuts. Doesn’t that explain how teams can sometimes go for years and years in F1 without a race win let alone a Championship?

          2. Cosworth I think did OK. Their DVF v8 was built in large numbers and was the mainstay for F1 new entrants (McLaren, etc.) for a number of years. Engine was used in sports cars and boats.

            Seemed to last more than a few races as well.

          3. @freelittlebirds

            As @robbie said, yep there are a few. A large marketability actually itself is a profit. However profitability is largely depending on the amount of money invested in R&D and what you get out of it.

            For teams such as Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes, the investment in building their own engine is very much an expense for them to run their F1 program anyways. However, by sharing their engine with other F1 competitors, they lessen their own total input costs and hence, is already profitable. Of course, they have to make investments to increase their production lines, however the R&D budget does not get altered by how many engines they need to supply.

            Of course, such manufacturers also have other expense or sell their engines at fraction of a profitable cost in return of installing their own backed driver in another’s car. Esteban Ocon for example, is a Mercedes driver and drives with Force India and Charles Lecrec for Sauber. Such agreements also bring out clearly that profitability in monetary terms are not always the outcome.

            An exception in last four years is Honda, who has not been able to make it good for themselves to make an engine that is competing for top spot. Rather, it has been in all negative news communications for good reason. This impacts their brand recall big time, though it may not mean that you will reconsider buying a Honda car or scooter because you know, they will be reliable road cars.

            A positive position though? It will push their car sales, since a brand with a lot of positive news will inspire new customers to follow into Honda. Let’s imagine for a minute if Torro Rosso wins a race with Honda behind them – it will be an underdog story, and who does not love that!

  4. Is anyone else getting sick of drivers complaining about the halo?
    It’s in the rules, we all know it was coming. Get over it.
    It’s there for their safety ffs.
    Is he trying to be ‘cool’ by complaining about it.
    Surely there is something more interesting he can talk about.

    1. As long as they are searching for alternatives, a driver can complain. Just to keep the discussion going. In Indycar they are now testing a new type of aeroscreen. The last one sickened the drivers, so the development is now on Indycar and might be changed from the original Red Bull idea.

    2. Maybe he just thinks its ugly and unnecessary and on top of that hes being asked about it 20 times each day in interviews.

    3. I’m not tired of them complaining, I want them to complain, I want the fans to complain and I want the halo to disappear.

    4. Nope.

      It’s the drivers views that matter most. Max, KMAG and Grosjean have spoken up. Most of the rest are too tightly controlled by their media handlers. A very few are scared but don’t want to jump ship to a closed cockpit series for obvious reasons ($). I expect that none of them feel that they need you or anyone else to hold their hand.

      Safety isn’t the reason it was brought in. Todt doesn’t want to get sued.

      Also even if you swallow the FIA propaganda, Max has legit concerns about weight which you seem happy to ignore or dismiss as him just trying to be “cool”.


      1. @PK I don’t sense that any drivers are held back from their opinions on the halo, and same with team principals. SV seems fine with it as one example. A few are ‘scared?’ Really? Of what?

        Even if all this is is Todt not wanting to get sued, which I don’t believe, safer cars is still the result.

        And Max may have legitimate concerns about weight, but it is the same for everyone. The Halo adds weight and raises the cars CG, but it will do so equally for all cars. Without the halo Max would still be one of the heavier drivers and thus slightly disadvantaged by that.

        1. I assume he means scared (of the possibility of accidents without the halo). Which sort of makes sense – both that such drivers exist, and that they are likely a minority right now.

        2. Safer cars is the goal? 50mph speed limit, done.

          As PK said, this is about lawsuits… don’t be disingenuous.

      2. Alan Barker ( Trotsky's Ghost )
        15th February 2018, 19:06

        Todt certainly is terrified of ending up in a court of
        law and losing ! That has been the driving force behind
        everything to do with the halo. His own halo of shining
        gold must NEVER be tarnished. And he will use whatever
        language he can to ensure he leaves F1 with all the
        glittering perfection of a movie star.
        Excuse me I have to go to the bathroom rather quickly……!

    5. Colin thank you Sir.
      A new season is about to start, an issue we have know was coming for almost a year, and can do nothing about is been dragged up to blight the start of the new season. Some fans and drivers can be mad.

    6. NO, we are getting sick of people like you complaining about people complaining.

      Don’t get upset that people have opinions other than your own…. the thing is hideous and a stupid patch that fixes 10% of the problem, MAYBE.

    7. Mostly the children moaning. They all do that ;-)

  5. Max will like the “halo” the first time it saves his life. In any case, the “halo” will look just fine once it’s painted in body color, and in a few years time an F1 car will look strange without it.

    1. @greenflag, in a 70-year history of Formula One with 20,000 Grand Prix entries of which two thirds have been conducted with driver’s heads fully exposed, how many lives would have halo saved?

    2. @greenflag LOL in other words Max will never like it.

      Have you not seen the car release pics!?….it does not look “just fine” …. it looks like a painted turd. F1 in the 21st century!

  6. The Halo is something im going to try and forget but i know i wont every time i see a car. In the USA if you had something in the windshield of your car down the middle like the Halo you would get a ticket for an obstructed view. Anyone who says you cant see it is lying to them self. Maybe it will grow on us but if you want a beautiful open wheel car in 2018 Indycar is the place to go.

  7. The Halo is something im going to try and forget but i know i wont every time i see a car. In the USA if you had something in the windshield of your car down the middle like the Halo you would get a ticket for an obstructed view. Anyone who says you cant see it is lying to them self. Maybe it will grow on us but if you want a beautiful open wheel car in 2018 Indycar is the place to go.

  8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    15th February 2018, 20:16

    I don’t agree with the comments saying we will get used to the halo. I never got used to the skinny rear wings from the 09 regs, I never got used to grooves tyres, I never got used to narrower cars from 98 onwards, I never got used to the dodgy noses from a few years ago, so I’m certainly not going to get used to that monstrosity. If something looks that unnatural it can’t be right. I’m afraid we just put bike stabilisers on F1 cars, a step too far.

    You can argue the pros and cons until blue in the face, you cannot argue with the fact this has caused huge backlash and split opinion, that speaks volumes whether you personally approve of it or not. The sooner an aeroscreen is in place the better for F1s already declining viewing numbers.

    1. @rdotquestionmark I wouldn’t assume that an aeroscreen, and the resultant massive change in the appearance of the cars to accommodate such an aerodynamically negative feature, namely 2 or 3 square feet of material interrupting the air flow such as the cars are designed for now, would be any more appealing to the masses. All depends on the looks of the cars once they have spent the hundreds of millions they will need to in order to accommodate a game changing item such as the screen, I suppose.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        16th February 2018, 21:24

        @robbie I can’t believe the aerodynamic impact would be that significant. Okay they’re cruder cars but the Indy cars bolted it on no problem with no design change, same with the Red Bull and Ferrari test versions. Overheating may be the only issue but we aren’t talking about wholesale car design changes as significant as last season or 2009.

        What I mean with regards to the viewing figures is that nobody new tunes in to see a safety device, but people will tune out with ugly cars. You also have to remember how important casual viewers are for the sport, viewing figures are everything.

        1. @rdotquestionmark I can’t see how a windscreen on an F1 car designed in a wind tunnel without one, would not be dramatically affected by one bolted on.

          The RBR and Ferrari versions were run for a total of one lap each on an actual track. I just don’t see overheating as the only issue. Aside from what has been brought up which is the visibility issues, there are the impact issues, the cleanliness issues, getting some air into the cockpit for the driver’s comfort, driver access if a car is upside down, and I personally think aerodynamics would be no small issue to tackle once that thing is deflecting air right over the airbox rather than right into it as designed.

          Wrt viewers I would think that new viewers seeing the cars with a halo might just think that’s how they’ve always been. It is mainly veteran viewers who can’t accept the halo that think it is ugly. Especially once the cars have better integrated the halo into their design, I think many people may not mind it. Also, and especially I’m assuming by 2021, the halo will definitely in my mind be well integrated, or there is also a strong possibility it will be an aeroscreen, but one that the whole car will have be designed for from the ground up for the next gen post-2020.

  9. Antoon van Gemert
    15th February 2018, 20:22

    The ‘halo’ is not only ugly, it’s also a good example of safety measures going too far! What’s the next step? Safety within motorsport has his limits and the ‘halo’ went over that limit. And it’s not only a safety measure going too far, but also a safety measure that could go very wrong. The ‘halo’ is barely tested in the last season, certainly not under real race-conditions. Look at the picture of Max Verstappen and it’s quite clear they will not have a 100% clear sight in front with that awfull clumsy thing in the middle! The drivers will have to look around it during racing and especially in hard battles. What if this dangerous contraption suddenly let’s loose at high speed? Will it hit the driver right in the face? What’s it’s effect when it rains? What’s it’s effect during all kind of crash-scenario’s. Too many questions unanswered with the risk that the ‘halo’ just will result in the opposite effect. And last but not least, if it’s true that taller drivers (like Verstappen and Hulkenberg) have a disadvantage due to the ‘halo’, that would be very unfair. I really hope that the ‘halo’ is the biggest mistake F1 has ever made!

    1. @Antoon van Gemert Too far, is simply your interpretation based on your opinion of the halo. The reality is most drivers have driven with the halo on their car and have not complained about forward vision. Looking at a picture of Max has nothing to do with what the drivers are seeing as they look down the road while racing. By all accounts they are not noticing the centre bar very much. They won’t have to ‘look around it’, for if they did, it would not be on the cars. Suddenly let loose? Considering it is attached such that it can support the weight of a double decker bus the odds of that are pretty much nil. In the rain is will presumably be no different for the drivers although I can see that centre bar potentially deflecting some rain away from their visors. Taller drivers are not at a disadvantage due to the halo. Max made a comment that the halo adds weight to the car and heightens the centre of gravity, and he as an already heavier driver relative to the grid doesn’t like to hear any time added weight might mean slightly slower cars. But let’s say they didn’t implement the halo…Max and Hulk would still be at a slight weight disadvantage. So Max may lament slightly heavier cars, but the addition of the halo has the same consequence equally for all drivers.

  10. @keithcollantine
    I really like the work that you’re putting into this website and I think the move to a new name is a good one.

    I do have some small remarks and since I can’t find anywhere how to contact you individually, I’ll do it here and hope that you receive this:
    1. The ‘About RaceFans’ link on the bottom of each page is broken:
    2. I’ve noticed that you have created a YouTube channel. I really like the idea of branching out to other forms of media. However, I’ve noticed that you’ve recently uploaded two videos, including the one that you use in the article. I am not a lawyer of anything, but I think simply copying a clip straight from Red Bull Racing and shortening it by the first 7 seconds is still probably a copyright violation. Red Bull (and other teams as well) spend a lot of money on people making these kind of videos, and I don’t think they appreciate that people are copying it and using it for their own good (without at least referring to the original source).

    I hate to see this amazing website in trouble because of a number of lawsuits for these videos. If you want to create original content, a suggestion would be to animate the ‘RacingLines’ articles, as they contain tons of information that is really hard to find on YouTube.
    I hope this helps make RaceFans an even better website and community than it already is.

  11. It’s okay Max, two races into the season you will forget all about the halo and start complaining about the engines.

    1. Oh thats hilarious – COTD material

  12. I’m looking forward to having a good laugh at the drivers wriggling their way in and out of the cockpit this year.

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