FIA Make Changes to Start Lights Due to Halo


Ferrari Halo
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The FIA will try a new starting light arrangement for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

This decision has been made after fears were raised about potential visibility issues for drivers caused by the halo device.

The new halo cockpit protection has brought about concerns that drivers at the front of the grid may not be able to see the normal start lights.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting has fitted a second set of lights five metres behind the main lights off to the left of the track at a lower height.

The drivers will be allowed to do practice starts at the end of both practice sessions on Friday to try out the new set-up.

In previous years the second set of lights have been situated hallway down the grid.

“We haven’t normally allowed practice starts on the grid here because it’s quite a tight timetable and things like that.” Said Whiting. “With the halo what we’ve asked every circuit to do is to make the lights at a standard height above the track.

“We’ve also put a repeat set of lights, in this case off to the left, over the verge.

“Those repeat lights were normally halfway up the grid, and they were fitted round about 2009, when the rear wings became higher on the cars.

“Some drivers complained about not being able to see the main start lights, so that’s when we introduced an extra set.

“But now the wings have been lowered, there’s no need for those halfway up the grid.

“Pole position seems to be the worst-case scenario with the halo there – maybe the driver can’t quite see the lights, or see only half of them, and he might have to move his head too much.

“What I thought would be a good idea was to give the driver sight of those lights rather than have them look at them for the first time on Sunday evening.”