Halo Introduction could Delay 2018 Force India Arrival

Otmar Szafnauer feels the 2018 car could be delayed by the introduction of the halo - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sahara Force India F1 Team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer feels that the late introduction of the halo head protection system may delay the introduction of the team’s 2018 challenger.

Szafnauer believes that the car may not be ready for pre-season testing due to the time constraints on designing and redesigning the follow up to the VJM10’s monocoque.

“It may delay next year’s car,” said Szafnauer to Motorsport.com. “There’s a finite amount of time to design and build a monocoque.

“There is a finite amount of time that it takes to design and make a monocoque, and if we don’t get definition in that timeframe, all it does is it delays when it’s produced.

“Right now, it looks like we may not be able to produce it in time for testing.”

Szafnauer believes it would have been better for the FIA to delay the introduction of the halo for another season in order to give teams a better chance of integrating it into its designs, but he acknowledges that now the decision has been made, it is unlikely to be changed.

“It’s rushed,” insisted Szafnauer. “It would have been nice to have had another year to do it properly. It is what it is.

“The only way to stop it is if the FIA stops it and says we’re going to do it in a year’s time. It’s safer to do it properly than to rush it, that’s the only way I can see stopping it.”

Sergio Perez tested the halo at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2016 – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd