Watch the first visor cam video of a 2018 F1 car with Halo

2018 F1 season

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Mercedes has released the first video revealing an F1 driver’s eye view from the cockpit with the Halo installed in a 2018 F1 car.

Valtteri Bottas drove the team’s new W09 at Silverstone with a visor cam fitted. He said afterwards that the Hao didn’t cause any visibility problems.

“It was actually OK,” he said. “No Halo or Halo you can definitely spot the difference. But once we have it there, we’re running it all the time and it is fixed, it is what it is.”

“For me honestly in those laps it wasn’t causing any issues for more, no problem with visibility or anything like that.”

Bottas said the Halo does present a new problem for drivers getting into and out of the car.

“It is more difficult, definitely,” he said, “it take a bit more time but with practice we definitely will get better at it.”

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“At least now it’s a proper Halo, before we were using mock-ups Halos and you can’t really lean on those and grab those. This one is strong enough to grab it and get out.”

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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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  • 52 comments on “Watch the first visor cam video of a 2018 F1 car with Halo”

    1. For me, the visibility issue is on tracks with hills, and especially when there are other cars on track too. That halo blocks off a lot of your vision, so when climbing up surely you won’t be able to see much at all.

      1. What about the race lights at the start of the race?

        1. @freelittlebirds: Safety Car starts. It’s the safe thing to do.

        2. @freelittlebirds – The cars are not directly in line of the race lights, so the V shouldn’t block that. For cars closer to the front, although the lights are higher up they will be more offset to the left/right, and for cars further down the grid the lights will be lower.

          @hugh11 – I do recall that a driver did mention that in the approach Eau Rouge the halo blocked the driver’s view somewhat when the driver’s head was in the usual position, necessitating a move of the head. I don’t recall which driver, though.

      2. some drivers might be not able to see the starting light because of the “V” thing in the middle

        1. Good point – I was just thinking that although there’s a significant block to visibility when looking up it shouldn’t really be a problem, but yeah! At the front of the grid I’d be interested to see how it impacts seeing the lights!

      3. Consider your profile picture for a moment; The driver’s ‘upward’ view is already obscured by the sponsorship sticker across the top of the visor. The upper part of the halo (including the V) is in the same position so it doesn’t obscure anything that isn’t already obscured.

    2. Will raindroplets accumulate on the under side?

      1. At those speeds, the droplets would have to grab themselves really tight

    3. gimme a chainsaw please!

    4. Video game in cockpit views are going to be awful.

      1. I suspect the visibility of the halo for in cockpit views will be made optional.

        1. Most likely yeah :P

    5. Now I’m no fan of the halo… but it feels kind of cosy having it above your head. Nice and protective, I wold imagine the drivers must sense that extra protection above their heads and feel quite good about it.

      By the way, the two-seater ‘F1-style’ experience takes you round that circuit – I thoroughly recommend it to you all. It’s expensive, it’s 3 laps only, but it’s incredible. It starts on the exit of Stowe, and I didn’t take my first breath till halfway down Hangar Straight, and I was shaking with adrenaline when I got out at the end.

      1. You mean maybe Claustrophobic?

      2. How expensive? And how easy is it to book?

        1. Tony Mansell – Google it! Can’t remember now, just look up Silverstone Experiences

    6. From this video it apparently the halo restricts a lot of vision in long straights, don’t know if I get that impresion due to 2D camera, maybe binocular human sight can handle that.

      This thing would surely save Dan Wheldon life and maybe would killed Felipe Massa by deflecting the coil spring in to his chest, ¿why not take the full aproach and go with a jet fighter style canopy?

      One thing is sure, the thing looks hideous.

      1. Being a 2D video it’s always going to appear as a line, whilst for the drivers the strut is in the same position as the antenna and the pitot tubes where they’re not in focus and easily ignored.

        Regarding Massa’s accident, the halo is far more likely to help then hinder as it leaves a far greater area of protection and greatly reduced the chance of it reaching him. The ‘jet fighter canopy’ was tested and rejected, which the FIA has already explained.

    7. The mid-pillar is enormous. It will definitely give some dents and scratches from not having a clean view in close combat situations like the first turns after start.

    8. At 1:45 – the support strut of the Halo covers 1/3 of the lane and would obscure a human being – other than that, visibility is at 100% (or 66%) – I think we’ll see a lot of messages from Vettel asking everyone to move to the side so he can see his car :-) Move out of the way – I can’t see you:-)

    9. That’s a quick car… he got all the way round to Stowe in no time!
      I hope the teams have tested and relocated their stop/go lights in the pitstops, or there’ll be some embarrassingly slow getaways.

    10. Looks like driving out of the bat cave, but never leaving. If the divers can accommodate the blocked vision, then that’s good.

      It’s no longer open cockpit racing to my eyes. It’s a Monkey Bars Industrial Safety Design at Speed Contest.

      All the best race engineering minds in the business working on this ‘head protection’ for 8 years and this is the best they could come up with? A center pillar Beetle split window design?

      Oh well…thanks to the paywalls I won’t have to watch this F1 devolution much longer.

    11. What’s with the little triangular lexan (?) pieces jutting up from the front of the cockpit? Clear aero?

      1. It’s the windscreen – think most teams have a normal-ish one, but Mercedes (I first noticed it on Rosberg’s car a few years ago) use the jagged one on both cars.

    12. what I find interesting is that finally they managed to put a camera at the real actual eye-level, wich seemed to be very difficoult until now

      1. @alfa145 It’s a pair of glasses with a camera in the middle, They have been around for a while now although not for live broadcast as currently that isn’t possible.

        The reason you don’t see more footage from things like these is that for the most part drivers don’t like wearing them. Most drivers who need to wear prescription glasses wear contact lenses because glasses can be uncomfortable to wear in a helmet.

        We did some stuff in Indycar a few years ago using Google Glass glasses & while we got some great footage in testing/practice sessions with them the drivers who ran them didn’t want to run them for more than a few laps because they found them uncomfortable.

        1. thanks for the insight

      2. @alfa145 isn’t it great? They finally figured out how to make great driver’s eye video and they need no longer bother with it because the view just looks dumb. But i might eat my words rather soon when the ‘classic’ onboard looks even worse. Like a basket cam for basketball or something

    13. For the drivers i can see its going to take a while to get used to. I just think the middle pillar join where the camera is, look so distracting especially looking into the distance. Good luck to them

    14. No comment

    15. Anyone who does not think this obstructs the drivers view In some situations is lying to them self or blind. I don’t get how they will see on hills and if a car enters their blind spot in the turns. After the first race I’m sure we will hear someone speak up unless F1 laid down the law saying you can’t say anything bad about it. All they did was add a problem to fix a crazy problem that’s super rare when they could have fixed a problem that solves 95% of the problems with small objects and deflect the large ones even if it don’t 100% fix it. Indycar has got it right

    16. I absolutely see the need fr driver safety, it should be paramount and be a higher priority than aesthetics. But if this is providing an obstruction to getting out of the car then that could really be an issue, and potentially undermine the safety claims of the device.

      If a device which can help majorly in infrequent situations provides a small compromise to safety in frequent situations then the benefits could be negated.

    17. TBH, I don’t really feel obstructed at all due to the Halo. I don’t find it too obstructive when looking directly ahead.

      1. (as I mentioned below) drivers are used to having antennas etc in that exact same spot; nothing new there.
        and I doubt they care too much about the actual ring, except maybe in hilly circuits (eau rouge).

    18. That was one nausea inducing video and the halo blocks off so much of view for drivers. Fighter jet style cannopy would have been a better solution than this kneejerk reaction of ugly mess. Anybody wants fuel for chainsaws, I will be happy to provide fuel for those.

    19. If you have any doubts about the visibility with Halo, check this Audi R18 Cockpit:

    20. It would be ironic if in some incident, halo causes more problems like getting the driver out. Please remove that H (horrible) thing. It just doesn’t feel right. There must be some other solution. Aeroscreen maybe.

      1. I agree incidents like alonso’s accident where the car comes to rest upside down and he was able to crawl out, I don’t think that is going to be as possible with halo. I wonder what drivers think about the possibility of being trapped in a hot inverted car full of fuel!

        1. @lukes FIA test’s have actually shown the Halo would have made it easier for Alonso to crawl out because the car now rest’s on the halo rather than the roll-bar which gives an extra few inches of space for a driver to crawl through.

          @amg44 Aeroscreen failed the impact test as did the shield. The Halo is the only thing that was tested which passed the impact test & also didn’t obstruct visibility or cause problems with extraction.

          1. I am curious if for some reasons (incidents, blind spots, visibility issues in close wheel to wheel racing, negative feedback from drivers, fans opposition) FIA decides to remove Halo in the middle of the season, what effect it will have aerodynamically and would it effective competitive order. That would be interesting.
            If the show is predictable with one team dominating, FIA might decide to ban Halo in order to spice up and shake up the competitive order.

          2. I have seen pictures of the shield proposed for the Indy cars. It is 1/2″ thick Lexan, the bullet proof plastic.

            Why not replace the centre support with a little wider screen of Lexan, and incorporate it with the top portion of the halo? The weight would not be much different, and it would eliminate the blind spot in front of them.

        2. The problem is, If any driver says ¨these things are stupid and potentially more dangerous than not having them¨, every else says ¨so you are OK with Jules Bianchi and those other examples being killed then?¨

          Anyone that has tried to reason with the safety brigade has been vilified by the ¨oh if we could just save one life wouldn´t it be worth it¨ fallacy¨

          I don´t believe that any of the drivers really want this, they just feel the pressure that ¨something must be done¨ and don´t want to be the villain (KMAG for example).

    21. awful, just awful. The drivers have to look at it for 2 hours, seeing this video i felt sorry for them, nobody wants to drive/race for 2 hours with a obstacle right in his face. So bad this halo.

      1. GPDA are in favor of it. some drivers don’t like the way it looks externally but most fully support it.

        1. @gt-racer it’s possible that they support the concept of the Halo and the efforts of the FIA to improve safety. If they fired back at the halo, that would have been a bit ungrateful. Obviously all drivers and all fans would like to improve the safety of the sport.

          Unfortunately the Halo affects the fans more than the drivers simply because it makes very hard for us to see the drivers in the car and also it mars the visual appeal of the car.

          I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics lately and the FIA should really look into Athlete’s safety in the halfpipe, luge, skeleton and bobsled – some of those can almost be classified as motorsports depending on your definition:-) Those guys should all be making millions…

          There’s a thin line between sport and safety and F1 is reaching the point of baby-proofing the house. No Lewis, do NOT touch that – I got him! I got him! Whew that was a close one! He almost fell with his head down! Strap him in!!! :-)

      2. Do you know that they’ve had for years antennas and other items in that exact same spot? no complaints from them then.

    22. It’s a bit like driving a road car except the pillar is in the dead centre.

    23. Why not connect the mirrors to the halo, rather than blocking the apex view?

    24. Antoon van Gemert
      24th February 2018, 9:51

      The first camera-view from the drivers’s perspective is quite shocking to say the least. Look at Bottas in the pit straight. He has to look around that clumsy thing in the middle, to see where he’s going! The Halo is dangerous and will cause accidents under real race-conditions, making F1 less safe than it was in 2017! Visibility is definitively an issue. The FIA have already admit that by stating that next version of the Halo must increase visibility.

      Halo should have no place in F1, but as long as it does I’m with Max Verstappen: “I will say it the whole year. Ugly, boring,………….” Hold on, I can’t go any further, my first reply was rejected because of this, althoug I had softened his political incorrect stance on the Halo. Forgot this is an English site, no ‘bleeps’ here in the Netherlands!

    25. Hate it. Watch Dixon’s IndyCar screen helmet cam. Much less annoying, a much better solution.

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