Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

F1 plans to introduce better-looking ‘Halo version four’ in 2021

2021 F1 season

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The FIA intends to introduce a new ‘version four’ of the Halo to Formula 1 in 2021 which could be more aesthetically pleasing than the current solution.

The Halo was widely criticised when it was introduced in 2018 because of its affect on the cars’ aesthetics. However the innovation was praised for its role in Charles Leclerc’s crash, where it withstood a heavy impact from Fernando Alonso’s front-right wheel.

A new version of Halo is now under development, as FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting told media including RaceFans at Monza today.

“There is further research going on for a new iteration, probably 2021, possibly more aesthetically pleasing to some, but that’s not the development reason for doing it,” said Whiting.

“I have to say the Halo project was the most thoroughly researched project we’ve ever done, by a long way. We put an awful lot of work to look at all the incidents where it may have helped and try to assess what would have happened with and without it. It’s a massively complex piece of research and it will have to be similarly thorough if we want to do another version of it.”

Whiting said the FIA has begun its investigation into how Halo performed in Leclerc’s crash but has not yet determined what role it may have played in protecting him. However it has estimated

“We’re still investigating, trying to determine everything we can, but the initial conclusions are the Halo saw a load roughly half of the test load in more or less exactly the same place as one of the test loads is applied to the Halo.

“There was no distortion of the Halo. It was taken off. There was no buckling of it. The Sauber guys have crack-checked it and it seems to be absolutely fine.”

Whiting said Leclerc’s Halo absorbed a force of 56 kiloNewtons, almost half the 125kN force the device was subject to in tests.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 12 comments on “F1 plans to introduce better-looking ‘Halo version four’ in 2021”

    1. I don’t care either way anymore. I’m perfectly fine with the look of the current model.

    2. The Halo was widely criticised when it was introduced in 2019?

    3. I’m hoping with the new regulations in 2021, the cars will be completely redesigned and any halo can properly integrate into the (aesthetic) design of the car.

      But I have been thinking recently, it seems inevitable F1 cars will eventually become closed cockpit. If they’re adamant there has to be head protection, why not do this in 2021 with the redesign of the cars? If you do an image search there are some really good concepts of what such a car could look like, much better than the halo.

    4. I didn’t realise turd-polishing was on the FIA’s agenda …

    5. I did not like HALO when I first saw it, in fact, I hated it! However, after Leclerc’s crash I have been somewhat forced to change my opinion. It matters little if HALO altered any outcome from that crash, but it certainly matters that it erased the possibility of the wheel hitting Leclerc’s head. As Alonso stated that ‘its better we not find out’, I could not agree more.
      When one remembers Surtee’s death nine years ago, its hard to argue that had HALO been on his car, the lad would have left Brands Hatch that day alive. With Justin Wilson HALO may well have altered that outcome also, Dan Wheldon too, possibly.
      In the wake of Robert Wicken’s crash, F1 is certainly going the right way compared to IndyCar in terms of head protection. HALO is not fool proof, but like HANS was twenty years ago, it will save lives which is what WE all want!

      1. Huh? Wickens did not sustain head injuries, why are you inventing that?… and if one uses their imagination a bit you can see how it could have gotten snagged on the catch fence and caused a much different outcome. The last thing Indycar needs is less fans going to races because the cars look like something you wear to the beach…. stupid halo.

      2. Mark in Florida
        1st September 2018, 15:59

        What? You do realise that most of the main safety innovations that F1 uses came from CART and Indycar. The HANS device, safer barrier, wheel tethers, a dedicated Holmatro safety team that F1 doesn’t even bother with. Quit slamming American racing you don’t know what your talking on about. F1 one has room for improvement on safety but advancement comes in stages as the need arises not full blown like a baby out of the womb. The Halo looks ridiculous like a flip flop strap. Hopefully the new version of Halo will look better than the old one. There is always risk in a racing environment. The cars should be as safe as is practical for the situation. If we are trying to eliminate all risk let’s start racing Volvo wagons. You can’t have brave driver’s when there’s nothing to be brave about.

    6. Michael Brown (@)
      1st September 2018, 20:06

      Honestly, I found the halo works best when it’s painted black or a dark colour, like Mercedes and Red Bull. When it’s a bright colour, even if it matches the rest of the car, it stands out. Maybe it’s because the driver’s visor blends in with the black?

      1. Yeah they should force teams to keep it black. Barely even see it on the Maclaren at normal distances.

      2. @mbr-9 I completely disagree. It blends in best when it’s the same colour as the rest of the car because it looks like it is part of the car. When it’s a different colour, dark or light, it sticks out as something that shouldn’t be there

    7. I hated the halo before leclrerc crash and i hate it even more now because it did nothing and everyone is praising it

    8. Are people STILL that hung up on the Halo’s æsthetics? It crazy how everyone forgets about 2014.

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