Niki Lauda Claims Halo Will Destroy F1’s Popularity

Credit: Octane Photography

Three-time world champion Niki Lauda has claimed the Halo imposed by the FIA has destroyed the push to make grand prix racing popular.

The FIA confirmed this week that the Halo device will be introduce on the 2018 Formula 1 cars as a solution for cockpit protection, despite only one team voting in favour for it. The announcement received a lot of backlash with fans and pundits in F1.

Lauda’s Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team first developed the concept of the halo protection back in 2015, the concept was tested by all of the F1 teams throughout the 2016 season.

Majority of the drivers felt the halo was horrible to drive with. Other concepts like the Red Bull aeroscreen and the “Shield” were introduced but were dropped by the FIA in favour of the halo.

Lauda told Auto Motor und Sport that the FIA’s decision to introduce the halo was poor.

“We tested the halo, the Red Bull aeroscreen and the shield as a cockpit protection, but none convinced 100%. You have to make the right decision in such a situation. The halo is the wrong one.”

Formula 1 has embarked on a change of regulations in a bid to make the sport more spectacular again for the fans. But Lauda believes with the halo coming in next year that it’s a step backwards in bringing in fans.

“We are trying hard with faster cars and getting closer to the spectators to attract new fans to the sport, But this now is destroyed by an over-reaction.”

Lauda claims Formula 1 is exceptionally safe and thinks the best decision is wait for a better solution instead of imposing a concept that isn’t supported.

“The halo destroys the DNA of an F1 car” said Lauda.

“The FIA has made F1 as safe as it gets. Also the danger of flying wheels is largely eliminated, because the wheels are always more firmly attached. The risk to the drivers has become minimal. There is 100% a better solution than the halo. Otherwise we would not have tried three ideas.”