Perez in favour of “brave” halo introduction


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sergio Pérez has lauded the FIA for making the halo mandatory on Formula 1 cars for the 2018 season, saying that the decision was a “very brave” one.

The halo has come under stern criticism from drivers and fans alike since its concepts were first seen on cars in 2016, as the FIA looked to reduce the risk of life-threatening or fatal injuries caused by flying debris.

The triple joint cockpit protection assembly has been seen to have had a major effect on the aesthetics of the car, whilst others believe that the sport should abstain from using it and stay a fully open-wheel formula.

However, Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Pérez said that the FIA have done the right thing by erring on the side of caution and safety, noting that teams will get used to it and the effects it has on car performance as the year goes on.

“It’s a safety thing. After three, four races we will get used to it,” he said. “In Formula 1, everything is changing very quickly.

“It’s definitely hurting a lot the aerodynamics on our side, but it’s the same for everyone.” he added.

“I think it’s a very good decision and a very brave decision from the FIA. We’re pushing on safety, and I think it also shows this generation of drivers definitely are pushing for safety and not only for Formula 1, but for other categories.”

Pérez noted that the halo could have “saved a couple of lives” had it been introduced a decade ago, and potentially prevented Felipe Massa from suffering major head injuries after the Brazilian was hit by a wayward spring from Rubens Barrichello‘s Brawn GP car during Qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

“When you see the Halo, if you had the Halo in the last 10 years, we would have saved a couple of lives already in the sport.” said the 28-year-old.

“Well done to everyone. I think it’s something that other sports should be proud of. Although I don’t like the look, it’s something worth it.

“I expect and I hope that this year will be a really interesting year with all the teams closing up. It will be a great year. I hope Halo after two or three races, nobody talks about it any more.”

The device will feature not only on the 2018 Formula 1 cars, but the new generation of Formula 2 and some regional Formula 4 cars.

From Season 5, all Formula E cars will run the halo too.