The Sahara Force India F1 Team had big issues incorporating the Halo head protection system into their 2018 car, according to chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer.
The Halo was made mandatory for 2018 in July, but Force India had already started the design and development of their new car, with Szafnauer admitting the challenge was bigger for the Silverstone-based team due to their limited resources compared with many of their rivals.
“The biggest thing over the winter for us was trying to incorporate the Halo into the car design because it was introduced so late,” said Szafnauer to RACER.
“Which for a team of our size makes it even more difficult to redesign and not start afresh but make massive changes to the design that we’d gotten on with already to incorporate the Halo.”
Szafnauer says the weight of the Halo presented a big problem, but they did manage to incorporate the system into the car in time, and he revealed the crash tests were completed at the first time of asking, much to the relief of the team.
“We did [find it a big challenge],” said Szafnauer. “It weighs quite a bit so we had a big challenge in keeping the weight down but also making the Halo robust enough to take all the prescribed loads, which are not insignificant.
“We’ve completed them all [the crash tests]. We’re right on schedule actually and the nice thing is we passed the first time. So had we not then that could have been troublesome.”