FIA: Halo bar protection device to be standard in 2017 Formula 1

FIA: Halo bar protection device to be standard in 2017 Formula 1 image

Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Ferrari, Red Bull Racing | posted May 31, 2016 08:33

Halo-style driver protection to be implemented in 2017 Formula 1

The 2017 season of Formula 1 will be seeing the racecars fitted with cockpit protection after the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) opted to use the halo-style bar device for next year's championship.

According to the FIA along with input from technical chiefs, the halo design has been in development for quite awhile and has undergone rigorous tests by manufacturers. The halo itself has a central strut that sits in front of the driver's head and is supported by a titanium-reinforced carbon fiber rim which shields the driver from oncoming projectiles.

During the pre-season testing at Barcelona, Ferrari introduced their take on the halo bar protection device. Most of the drivers and fans however raised criticism over the design, citing that it's unappealing and could confuse the driver. The final design will be refined further and will be incorporated to the 2017 cars.

Red Bull Racing's Aeroscreen

This puts the final nail in the coffin for Red Bull Racing's (RBR) Aeroscreen which was first tested during the 2016 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. Compared to the halo design, the Aeroscreen stretches out 180 degrees in front of the driver and has been tested by RBR in several tire and ballistic tests. In addition, the Aeroscreen also garnered praise for its overall design.

The halo bar will undergo further safety testing on June 24 while official approval of the new cockpit protection device will be held on July 6, provided the bar passes the tests.

The clamor for better cabin protection comes after the death of Formula 1's Jules Bianchi and IndyCar's Justin Wilson. Both drivers died after sustaining fatal head injuries.