Ferrari SF17h launch, 2018

Vettel believes Ferrari has made “a big step” with new car

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari have made significant progress over the winter.

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Comment of the day

Lots of praise for the new-look Ferrari from @PT:

It’s refreshing to have an all red, uncompromised livery. And great to see the prancing horse logo on the halo – brilliant idea. That’s what I want other teams to do too – accept that it is part of the car. Don’t like what Mercedes has done, not painting the halo and leaving it black. Maybe because Toto wants to ensure that everyone sees it as an ugly piece of kit that must be chainsawed off.

And we wonder why Jackie Stewart had such a hard time convincing people of the need for more safety in Formula 1 all those decades back. It’s because people don’t wanna accept safety standards, citing aesthetics and other such lame excuses.

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On this day in F1

  • The Cuban Grand Prix sports car race went ahead on this day in 1958 despite the absense of Juan Manuel Fangio, who had been kidnapped. Stirling Moss won and Fangio was later released unharmed.

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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 “Vettel believes Ferrari has made “a big step” with new car”

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      23rd February 2018, 0:04

      100% agree with the COTD.

      1. 100%agree. Hoping Ferrari wins this year😊😊Go Seb.!!!!

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      23rd February 2018, 0:13

      I see that both Toro Rosso and Ferrari have a kind of winglet over the halo. They look strikingly similar. Why didn’t the other teams apply this solution?
      I guess that if it’s seen as a gained advantage, all the others will hurry up and mount the same gimmick very soon.

      1. Sauber has it as well. I’m pretty sure some of them have just hidden it for the unveiling. I’d expect at least one or two teams to adopt an approach little more radical than just the winglet

        1. This @todfod – McLaren tested a fairing on top for the halo too in the after season test, they will have it on their car too.

    3. Disagree with the quote of the day. Sticking a decal on the Halo does not make it any more attractive to my eyes. Even on the Ferrari with the two-tone slimming down treatment, it makes F1 look like a PlaySkool kiddie racing series.

      If safety is of primary importance then F1 should just move on to driverless cars – we could barely see the drivers in the recent cocoon designs. The Halo completes the job.

      Either have the guts to fully enclose the driver or admit that open wheel racing can be dangerous. Other than the negligent deployment of heavy equipment inside the safety barriers at Suzuka, F1 has a remarkable safety record in the past 20 years.

      The Halo is a visual and structural abomination – seemingly designed to deflect FIA legal culpability, with a possible increase in driver safety. Will be interesting to see how the blind spots this awkward design creates affects close quarter racing. Especially on the tracks with proper elevation changes.

      1. I still don´t understand why didn´t they use the mirror mountings to hold the halo and avoid the center pillar. Many people have suggested it but apparently there is a reason not to do it.

        1. Using the mirror mountings would block driver visibility in corners and would make mirror placement more difficult. The chassis is also very narrow which makes that issue worse. Plus when going straight the wider spaced mountings might deflect oncoming debris towards the driver while also leaving the driver totally exposed for anything that comes straight at the driver’s head. The halo center post will always deflect things away from the driver. And the center post is also there directly in the way taking the loads if the halo is hit by a tire. With wider mounts it is even possible that the tire dives under the halo. And it would not look any better.

      2. So you want us to take your argument seriously when you’re defending driverless cars?!
        You’ve gotta be kidding.

        1. Yes – kidding, @nathanbuilde: I’m not driving the point to defend driverless cars. Just getting ahead of the safety congestion traffic on the road to perfect safety – and that means removing the driver from those risky machines.

          When will F1 find the balance between racing risk and safety? Does the FIA intend for F1 to become a zero-risk sport? Would they add 300kg of airbags around the driver to reduce that last 2% of risk?

          1. If the drivers are okay with it then I am too. Fully enclosed cockpits will remove the open air, noise, and general ambience that open wheel racing offers.

          2. @jimmi-cynic, so what exactly do you think is the right balance between racing risk and safety? It’s an easy thing to say and rather more difficult to implement in practise.

            1. anon: It does not matter what I think is the correct balance – I’m not part of the knee-jerk FIA safety measures comittee.

              But for the record – Last year’s specs were sufficient for me – once the stronger wheel tethers were spec’d.
              Just never, ever allow heavy industrial equipment inside the safety barriers even under yellows or VSC. If a heavy crane is the only way to retrieve a car, then red flag the race.

              What about you, anon, where’s your balance point?

            2. Knee-jerk?

              You realise that the halo was in developement for close to a decade, right?

        2. Your reading comprehension is appaling. That said I agree with OP’s opinion and disagree with COTD.

      3. I think he’s right in a way. Making the best of what you have, if you will.

        To my point the other day – i’d like to see the teams adopt the helmet liveries for the halo and make them a natural extension. I bought this up on Twitter last year to a good response, and a livery artist (Sean Bull, just signed by Renault!) actually come up with a few designs a week later. I’ve taken 2 of them and added driver helmets:

        Fernando Alonso:

        Sebastien Vettel:

        1. Brilliant idea!

      4. @jimmi-cynic Certainly living up to your nomenclature. I’m not sure there is any talk of FIA/Liberty/F1 making it 100% safe. At least I can say I have heard nothing more beyond the halo or perhaps more R&D towards an aeroscreen which I still think is too problematic to implement.

        As to blind spots? Haven’t heard anything of that either and I’m sure if there was an issue that way we would not be seeing the halos on the cars today.

        1. @robbie: I’ve watched F1 and Bernie/FOM/FIA for over 20 years…so yes…am a bit jaded. Rarely is the FIA/FOM proactive – they have demonstrated a long record of reactive rulings.

          It is claimed that the Halo is the result of a decade of FIA proactive driver head protection research and development. That just coincidentally gathered more urgency after the Bianchi tragedy – yet offers no protection in that sort of incident. Only keeping industrial equipment outside the safety barriers is the safer option.

          This highly compromised Halo ‘solution’ is the result of a reactive proactive safety design process that appears to me to be driven more by politics than safety.

          Blind spots? The FIA blind spot is that the Halo has never been tested in anger by the full grid jockeying for position. This season is the beta test.

          1. @jimmi-cynic I think some of the reactive decisions have been simply through the same trial and error type of development processes that millions of companies and their people go through and have throughout the years. You don’t know it’s a problem until said problem arises, or the atmosphere has changed and adaptation is needed or you’ve learned some things or what have you. Eg. carbon fibre hugely changed the safety game from cars made of aluminum. Then they learned and got better at carbon fibre and how many more things they could do with it once they worked with it.

            As to the industrial equipment extracting cars, there is not only one solution, that being keeping the equipment on the other side. There is also having drivers slow much more under double yellows in the wet, and there is virtual safety cars, and there is real safety cars, and there are red flags.

            ‘Highly compromised’ are certainly not words I would equate with the halo. If I had heard anything near those kinds of comments from any of the F1 insiders that actually have to live with the halo, that would be different, but the main negative seems to be by far and away the aesthetics, and little else. I’m confident that those who will actually be using it are not concerned about a flock of them racing in anger with it. Otherwise I’m confident they wouldn’t have the halos on at this point and the team principals would have gathered themselves and put up much more resistance had they had much more than aesthetics to argue.

            1. @robbie – appreciate your points. And you have much more faith in F1 processes than I.

              The fact that the FIA would allow any heavy industrial crane on track, double-waved yellows or not, belies common sense. Martin Brundle, in ’94, had a near miss that would have been his certain death. Other the special exemption that Suzuka receives don’t know of another track that permits industrial crane deployment inside the safety barriers at other tracks. Do you?

              That it took another 20 years to devise the VSC tells me that the FIA’s safety development process work very, very slowly – like many dysfunctional decision by committee approaches in large bureaucratic institutions. And F1 is rife with politics and many egos of enormous size and weight. The Halo concept was birthed during Bernie’s reign.

              I’m confident that those who will actually be using it are not concerned about a flock of them racing in anger with it. Otherwise I’m confident they wouldn’t have the halos on at this point and the team principals would have gathered themselves and put up much more resistance had they had much more than aesthetics to argue.

              I’m not confident. The Halo has never been tested in race conditions with a pack of drivers vying for the same piece of tarmac. We’ll find out soon enough.

              I could agree with your opinion if by the 6th race we haven’t heard a driver complain about not seeing another car because of the Halo blocking his vision. Going to be a very tempting option for certain drivers…

              Why didn’t the team principals push back more?

              It could be that they were fine with the Playskool look. Or…because of politics…had to give up on that issue to win on another front. Or it could be they were being coy…let the FIA make a disgrace of F1 while Liberty loses billions and another series rises from ashes. This is the other entertaining side of F1 – the political race for power and influence.

            2. @jimmi-cynic Lol I certainly have more faith in Liberty and Brawn than I had in BE.

    4. Ferrari has made a big step and the others have stood still since last year. Lets see what testing brings.
      Also how good will the Mclaren be if its all orange. I hope so

    5. I spy with my little eye something that is papaya orange!

    6. Really appreciate selecting my comment for the QOTD, Keith!

    7. Re:COTD

      That’s because the Halo is indeed a very ugly piece of kit which should be sawed off.

      And this Jackie Stewart type of argument is getting tiresome – most people have no problem with increasing the safety of the drivers, that’s not the point. Most people people have a problem with how ridiculously ugly this Halo contraption is, how foreign and out of place it looks on the car.

      And even in practical terms, it doesn’t really solve what it intended to do (such as Massa 2009 type of accidents). The Indycar solution looks much more suitable.

      1. @andrewf1 It was not intended for Massa type incidents, but more for incidents involving big objects such as tyres etc. The fact that it can also deflect small pieces of debris is just a plus.

        1. Depends on which direction the small pieces get deflected.

          1. Well given the bar is directly in front of the driver, and the car moves forwards, not sideways, I’m not sure how you think it might deflect towards the driver.

      2. @andrewf1

        Most people people have a problem with how ridiculously ugly this Halo contraption is, how foreign and out of place it looks on the car.

        which is a bigger problem than losing the Nordschleife or proper Spa or Hockenheim. Much bigger.

        (that said I’m not going to call the halo optimal either – at least aesthetically. so there’s that)

    8. “My new car is a big step up compared to last year… Certainly is if you want to climb into it.

    9. In b4 Pennyroyal makes more of his incorrect Ferrari predictions. Get over it – they’re going to run.

    10. Unsurprising that the livery color scheme has changed to even more predominantly orange than it already was. BTW, what a weird coincidence that a gust of wind stroke at that specific moment when the car was about landed out of the truck, LOL.

    11. I disagree with COTD, in the sense that actually I’m heartened by the extent teams have gone to integrate the halo. Looking at Williams, with a white halo and those dark areas flowing so the halo feels more part of the car, the same thing Mercedes have done too – and at teams like Ferrari with their red halo. It’s nuanced, an optical solution, but I like how some teams have tweaked their livery to help integrate it.

      1. I agree with you, but I can’t help feel where the halo joins the tub at its rear, there couldn’t be a continuation of the swoop in the livery. I’m surprised Williams in particular didn’t do this.

      2. “Integrating” a halo is more involved than painting the stupid thing white…

    12. Why not paint the halo invisible like the Die Another Day Vanquish.
      Techies must be close to solving that one.

      1. that’s exactly what i was thinking! With so many graphics present on the live feed why not erase the halo from the cars??

        1. I’m sure Redbull have someone on staff that can do it!

    13. @pt to be fair considering how much black they’ve got on the car this year I’m not sure it would’ve looked better painted grey. As it is now though do agree about it looking more like it wants to be chainsawed.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard

        It’s just that the Ferrari’s halo looks, to me at least, as if it always was part of the car – the body livery plus the prancing horse logo and the aero appendage to it makes it not just perfectly aligned, but even desirable.

        1. It’s just that the Ferrari’s halo looks, to me at least, as if it always was part of the car

          @pt yeah, I guess won’t disagree with that – just can’t myself imagine a way for Mercedes to make the halo look as good as Ferrari made theirs (Williams painted it the body colour but it doesn’t look that good for example)

          1. Maybe some grey and the Petronas bluish-green stripe along the width of the halo. Not sure if t would look as good as the Ferrari’s though, as you pointed out.

    14. Disagree with COTD about the halo. It is an ugly and unnecessary piece of kit whether you try to disguise the monstrosity or not, and just because you disagree with it @PT doesn’t make it a lame excuse. You’re entitled to your opinion same as everyone else. I’ll go further and say that IMO this endless bringing up Jackie Stewart’s crusade of the 60’s and 70’s is the lame thing. It was necessary then but now it’s gone too far. This is motor racing not office work. You want perfect safety stay at home.

      Now I know @keithcollantine agrees with you. After all Toto’s opinion is not in the round up and yours is the COTD. That’s ok. I, and many many others, on the other hand, agree with Wolff. Bring on the chainsaw!

      1. +1 London Elephant Bus! @montreal94

        This is the pinnacle of motorsport – not Playskool bumper cars.

      2. @montreal95 Toto’s opinion was given it’s own topic, as exhibited right in the headline, before this roundup, so that’s not fair to @keithcollantine Your opinion, as we see, has been posted as well. All he is doing is as usual inviting debate by picking the cotd. And it’s a hot and debatable topic now that we are seeing the cars in reality for 2018.

        Only thing else I can add is that they are not trying to achieve nor expecting perfect safety. Just to do better after seeing what has happened to some other drivers in recent years.

      3. @montreal95 Don’t take it so personally, pal. Here’s a thought – Ayrton Senna would probably have been commentating for Brazilian television now had the halo been invented in 1994. I said “probably” – I admit it’s not sure. But it possibly could have, and I admit it also has to do with the cockpit sides that were pretty low then. It was concluded that the front suspension arm penetrated the helmet visor. The impact was from the front, and a halo would probably have helped in deflecting it. That probability is well worth putting it on. I’m not a fan of the halo, I prefer the windscreen concept IndyCar is testing, or I wouldn’t mind closed cockpits with the cockpit covers painted in the colours of the respective drivers’ helmet livery. But as of now, the halo has been ruled to be the most feasible option after adequate research into all the safety solutions by the FIA. They probably would go for the PPG-designed IndyCar solution next year, in which case we all will be happy.

    15. Sure do hope they made such a step! Can’t wait for the season to start. Was a tease to get Ferrari on the top step at Melbourne last year then have such reliability issues. Let’s hope they got that all worked out!

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