The FIA have announced that the Halo cockpit protection system will be fitted on next year’s Formula 1 cars, following a meeting of the Formula One Strategy Group.
The Halo, designed to reduce the risk of debris and other objects striking the drivers head will now feature on all Formula 1 cars next season. The Halo was trailed by teams throughout last season.
Other cockpit protection methods were taken in consideration such as “The Shield”, however it had only been tested once at last weekend’s British Grand Prix by Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel who said it made him feel “dizzy.
The Statement from the FIA confirms: “Following the unanimous agreement of the Strategy Group, in July 2016, to introduce additional frontal protection for Formula One and the repeated support from the drivers, the FIA confirms the introduction of the Halo for 2018. With the support of the teams, certain features of its design will be further enhanced.”
“Having developed and evaluated a large number of devices over the past five years, it had become clear that the Halo presents the best overall safety performance.”
Only six of the ten teams – Mercedes AMG Petronas, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Mclaren Honda, Sahara Force India and Williams Martini Racing have been part of the meetings with the commercial holders and the FIA. But F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn invited teams not part of the group into the meeting as observers.
Multiple sources reported that nine of the ten teams voted against the Halo but the Grand Prix Drivers Association have backed the Halo device to be introduced. The FIA have told the team that further enhancements will be made to previous designs.
Head of the GPDA, Alex Wurz told Motorsport.com: “With regards to the introduction of additional head protection, as stated various times, us drivers respect the FIA’s stand on safety and support their ongoing quest to make racing safer.”
Despite the backing of the FIA and the GPDA, the announcement of the halo for the 2018 season has received a massive backlash with fans on social media.
Including in the meeting, further topics were introduced for discussion for the future of the sport, such as 2021 Power units, cost control and improving the show for the fans.